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Plado Tasting Bar
Credit: Plado Tasting Bar

It was awful out. Two weeks back on a Wednesday evening I made it down to the East Village through a harrowing storm out of a Bram Stoker novel to Plado Tasting Bar. What followed was anything but a delightful respite from the torrential mood booming outside.

On the immediate arrival we found the space to be inviting and cozy, the perfect counter to the elements. The staff adorned in white with contrasting dark aprons that seemed to match overall interior of brick and white tile back splashed.

Plado Tasting Bar is the new venture by German Rizzo, owner of Vitte Vinosteria in Astoria. His new restaurant can best be described as Mediterranean influenced Tapas with a twist. He keeps the menu seasonal and believes in fresh ingredients, and the quality shows. What followed was a delightful meal.

My associate and I began the meal with a casual beverage. Plado serves only wine, beer and wine cocktails. Off of recommendation from our server we had the Plado Fizz Prosecco based grapefruit affair garnished with a spring of lime and the 2nd Street Passion containing Prosecco, passion fruit and refreshing mint. We found both to be quite refreshing. And refreshing to the point where you’re sucking it back forgetting it’s alcohol.

The first dish to arrive was their Chorizo: a balanced chorizo, sautéed with Fava beans and garlic and a splash of lemon. The beans developed a lovely texture having been cooked in the fat  of the sausage. Our second tasting was their Taro Gnocchi, an indulgent cream affair of pan seared oyster mushrooms, truffle oil and taro based gnocchi. This is a must try for mushroom lovers. The Taro makes a great gnocchi base as it very starchy, and as an Italian I always delight in trying new types of these wonderful starch bombs.

What arrived next at our table was a true spectacle, the House Smoked Norwegian Salmon. This comes to you under the cover of glass, smoke obscuring the salmon with citrus salsa, avocado and sprouts. It has been a minute since I’ve enjoyed smoke salmon this much. Smokiness combing with the sweetness of the salsa and avocado reminded me of Easter Sunday combining smoked mozzarella and oranges. This was the dish I tried to horde.

From the daily special we sampled a nicely sized Crab Cake. Keeping with seasonal flavors it was beautifully paired with a granny apple smith purée, sliced beets and kohlrabi. The most interesting thing was the texture of the cake itself which was smooth and flavorful.

Our final savory plate was the Short Rib. A red wine braised fall off the bone delight over sweet compote and topped with red slaw. Visually it’s a beautiful dish that tastes as good as it looks. The flavors are nothing revolutionary, but are damn good and if you’re going to do short rib it better be on point.

Dessert was light which was a blessing because we were stuffed. The Bombotirasu which are house made donuts served with mascarpone mousse, are served with dark chocolate, coffee ganache and pistachio gelato. OK that’s a lie a I could of eaten a whole bag of these with gelato and mascarpone.

After the meal I had a moment to chat with German in the basement which has expanded dining space and private spaces for parties. It’s always a pleasure to talk to chefs who are passionate of the flavors they make, and it shows.

Plado Tasting Bar is located on East 2nd Street between Avenue A and B. It features full wine and beer bar, dining room and private spaces for parties. More information can be found here.

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