After doing four years of foodie based articles here at Manhattan Digest, something I have come to realize is that so many fantastic locations have opened and closed within a matter of months. Pepolino’s on the other hand, has had much better luck with their stellar location in TriBeCa, as they have served the Manhattan community for close to two decades now! And rightfully so. I stopped by there a couple of days ago to really get a feel of why this place is so legendary.
The name Pepolino comes from a variety of Thyme that grows wild in Tuscany. Owners Enzo Pezone & Patrizio Siddu said that “We wanted the name of our restaurant to reflect our cooking style. We use a lot of herbs in our dishes, and pepolino is our favorite one.”
They opened the doors of Pepolino in August of 1999, and since then have served thousands of visitors and Manhattanites with some of the tastiest Italian cuisine this guy have ever had. The location itself is also incredibly intimate for a dinner of two, or can work for a large family gathering as I noticed when I enjoyed the options that was presented to myself and a friend on a cold Saturday afternoon.
Every dish I had made me tear a little bit, however i am going to break down the ones that I thought were the best overall in terms of taste, presentation and making me want to go back for seconds. Take a look.
I have never been the biggest fan of mussels, however Pepolino’s version was absolutely fantastic. Their Cozze al Burro, which are steamed mussels out of the shell in butter, parsley, and garlic with toasted bread on the side is the perfect appetizer for the seafood junkie in all of us. The sauce that they are able to extract that goes with the mussels was insanely good and made for quite the dunk with the warm toasted bread on the side.
Pairing a sweet and savory item always gets me going, and they definitely excelled in that with their Pollo alla buco, which is Pan seared chicken breast with pears, pecorino cheese and a red wine reduction. This was the first time that I have tried chicken with pear, and it works very well especially when the red wine reduction compliments it with its smooth texture and the cheese gives it an element that wakes the taste buds up even further. Simply delicious.
My third favorite dish was a classic staple in Italian cuisine. Their Polpettine di vitella, which are simply veal and ricotta meatballs with a light tomato, garlic & basil coulies. This is a dish that doesn’t need much to it, as meatballs pretty much do enough for themselves, and Pepolinos did an amazing job in preparing them with just the right amount of spice to go along with.
If you have enough room for dessert (as you always should) save it for their Ricotta Cheesecake. I have never had a cheesecake this decadent tasting in my entire life, and it has to be one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Seriously, go to Pepolino’s ASAP. You won’t be disappointed.
For more information on Pepolino, please check out their official site.