I for one, am never going to turn down the prospect of delicious pizza. I mean it’s pizza for Pete’s sake! That was my initial thought process when I went to Adoro Lei, a brand new restaurant in the South Village that is located on Hudson and Spring Street, right off the E train. Having used to work in this particular part of town, I can say that i have never been disappointed in any of the food that I have tried down there, from fine dining to food truck. I can truthfully saying that after my initial thought process of just snacking on some pizza at Adoro Lei, that I was left with so much more & would recommend anyone going in for what they have to offer.
Adoro Lei, which translates to “I Adore Her”, has a pretty simple concept that delivers ten fold: serving delicious Neapolitan Pizza from a custom word-burning oven, as well as creative pasta dishes, a full raw bar and unique Italian delicacies. Add in unique craft cocktails designed by Mixologist and James Beard award recipient Elayne Duff (previously worked at some of New York’s finest restaurants, including Le Bernardin), and you are sure to have a good time.
For any restaurant to be successful, the visual of the location has to be just as appealing as the actual food itself. The main floors design is very modern with a touch of elegance, with wood floors adorned throughout and a beautiful bar to hang out at if you are just in the mood to try a delectable cocktail. If you are looking for more of a private setting, they have a section downstairs that can be easily changeable into whatever event & party you are planning with expertly produced music from the top DJ’s in the world, portraits that cover the walls from up and coming artist Dessie Jackson, great and vibrant space to enjoy with your friends, and so much more. A multi-functional space is really what is needed to thrive in a city like New York, and Adore Lei’s partner & creative director Michael DiBugnara really did an amazing job at executing a plan and making it happen.
Of course, a restaurant review would be nothing without the food! Now let’s break it down from suits to nuts as to my suggestions on what to order. For shareable starters, I would recommend trying the Truffle Rice Balls (Artisanal Truffle Cheese Rice Balls with Almond & a Panko Crust), Adoro Sliders (Veal & Pork Braised Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, Sheep’s Milk Ricotta, 3 Petite Bun (bun-less option avail as well) and their Burrata Divine (Burrata Cheese, Eggplant, Ripe Tomatoes, Truffle Honey Drizzle & Arugula Garnish). My personal favorite of the three was the Sliders, as the mixture of veal and pork in one delicious meatball paired very well with their tomato sauce and ricotta. The Burrata Divine was also excellent as the burrata itself was the star of the dish on top of the well prepared eggplant. Rounding out the deliciousness, the Truffle Rice Balls had a great texture to them, with or without the tomato sauce for dipping.
If pizza doesn’t really strike your fancy, then I would definitely recommend one of their amazing pasta dishes. We were treated to their Lover’s Purses, which is Pasta Purses with Artisanal Cheese, Pear, Brown Butter Sage Sauce, Roasted Walnuts, Arugula and Parmigiano Shavings. Hands down the best pasta dish I’ve had in a while. All of these ingredients compliment each other so well, especially the pear with the brown butter sage sauce. Absolutely incredible.
Now onto the pizza, which is divided into two categories: the reds and the whites. The pizza menu itself is designed and executed by Executive Chef Mario Gentile and Edoardo Duran who was the head pizza chef at the top rated Keste of Bleecker Street. Edoardo was trained by one of the most revered pizza makers in the universe- Roberto Caporuscio, the US president of The Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli. The Daily Meal also ranked them as one of the Top 35 Pizza’s In The Country, which is an amazing feat to be accomplished. So naturally me and my friend knew that we weren’t going to be getting delivery quality at all.
The pizzas are named after renaissance figures that were famous (or infamous) for being lovers. Ones to recommend on the red side are The Rosina (Margherita, Tomato, Parmigiano, Pecorino, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil), The Pietro (Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Pecorino, Wild Arugula, Prosciutto, Parmigiano Shavings &Truffle Oil), The Romeo (Spicy Sausage, Peppers, Onions, Tomato Sauce & Fresh Mozzarella). These three seem very traditional when it comes to pizza, but they are done so wonderfully with each ingredient that they put in. The sauce in The Rosina was scrumptious, with The Pietro all you had to so was say Prosciutto and I’m in, and The Romeo boasted two of my favorite ingredients (sausage & peppers) and made it into one tasty pie.
For the white side, I would recommend The Tullia (Fresh Mozzarella, Ground Sausage, Mussels & Sambuca) and the Medici Magnificent (Pesto, Soppressata, Roasted Peppers & Fresh Mozzarella). I normally don’t have pizza & seafood as a combination, but The Tullia really was impressive with its use of Mussels, Sausage and Sambuca all in one dish. The same goes for The Medici Magnificent as I really enjoyed the combo of the Soppressata and Roasted Peppers. We finished the meal off with something sweet in their divine Nutella Fingers, which were essentially like ladyfingers topped with delicious Nutella with fresh whipped cream in the middle. Great way to end a fantastic assortment of dishes.
As previously stated, I would recommend anyone trying Adoro Lei out as it hits the ball out of the park with each aspect of what they are preparing for their customers. Albeit pasta, pizza and more, it is a surefire win for you, your friends and your taste buds. Check out their official site for more information.
Happy Eating Everyone!