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“Bar Milano”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Italian Gramercy Moderate Good

When having dinner at an Italian restaurant it’s possible that you might be lucky enough to get a whiff of the wonderful aromas coming out of the kitchen—garlic and onions frying in a pan, sweet tomatoes simmering on a stove, and fragrant rosemary in the oven. The other night while Susie, Adrienne and I were having dinner at Bar Milano, the latest project from Joe and Jason Denton (Lupa, ‘inotecca, ‘ino), the usual kitchen aromas were barely perceptible over the more dominant olfactory stimulus of the evening—a sweet, herbaceous air that made my mouth go dry at one sniff. Yes, you guessed it: marijuana. No joke. And we were on 24th and 3rd, not Stanton and Eldridge.

“Do you smell pot?” Adrienne asked as we enjoyed our simple but terrific amuse bouche—sheer slices of tart apple topped with nutty slices of shaved aged grana padano cheese and a sticky drizzle of wonderfully syrupy aged balsamic vinegar. The collective answer from the table: Yes. A glance around the cool, marble-walled Danish modern room, appointed with round wooden tables, gray carpet and walls of glass wine cubbies, a decided departure from the rustic farmhouse chic look of the Dentons’ previous restaurants, revealed not a single rolled joint, pipe or bong. Hmm. We were perplexed. And then, just as quickly as the smell had arrived, it was gone and we were back to eating.

And there’s good eating to be had even with out the appetite aid known as a doobie. And it’s not surprising considering Bar Milano’s kitchen is under the care of two young stars of the Italian kitchen: ‘inotcca’s Eric Kleinman and Lupa’s Steve Connaughton. They’ve created a lovely seasonal menu of antipasti, pasta and secondi that offers generous portions of refined and often scrumptious food. While there’s still some rusticity to the ingredients and simplicity in the preparation—this is Italian after all—the plating and the preparation is more precise and the dishes a bit more high brow than what these chefs have created in the past.

For instance, their riff on their popular signature truffle toast shows up in a clever dish called a Patata Imbottita ($12), a spectacular invention that involves layers of paper thin potatoes shaped into an envelope and wrapped around a runny egg yolk, then pan-fried and plated on top of a Fontina fondue, and topped with caviar. Crispy and ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Gramercy :
+ Casa Mono/Bar Jamon   + Pure Food & Wine   + Parea   + Gramercy Tavern (Lunch)   + 15 East   + Tocqueville   + Irving Mill   + Bar Milano   + Irving Mill   + Maialino   + Asellina   + Corkbuzz Wine Studio   + Breads, by guest reviewer Tracy Weiss   

“Try and see”

I have taken my sister to Bar Milano. Their coctails are great (I do not remember the name but it has a balsamic ans strawberry in it). They serve food in small portions. Salmon was very tasty. The place has a modrn decor, high quality. I liked the people around, not very young though. It is a nice restaurants overall,but I still think that it is over priced.

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