There must be thousands of restaurants on Manhattan to feed the eight million New Yorkers who live there. Around the Great White Way at Times Square, there are literally hundreds. But we chose Etcetera, Etcetera last week on our only evening in Manhattan on our way to Boston because my wife had enjoyed dining at Vice Versa, its sister restaurant, last fall.
With a flashy stainless steel bar and 50 seats, Etc. Etc. can accommodate 50 diners downstairs for pre- or post-theatre dining, or another 20+ in a private room upstairs. Every dish was superbly prepared, absolutely delicious to the palate, and the service was impeccable.
My wife and I each thoroughly enjoyed the pre-fixe dinner for $35 with a choice of mixed field green salad with house dressing and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, eggplant cannoli with fresh ricotta and smoked mozzarella, or chilled tomato and cucumber soup with pesto and Parmesan waffle. We opted for the first two — both perfectly prepared and balanced.
For entrees, I tried the homemade ricotta and cherry mozzarella ravioli with diced tomatoes — savory, sweet and splendid. My wife had the zucchini wrapped monkfish with carrot mashed potatoes, asparagus and lemon sauce — and she had to keep an elbow on the table to keep me from reaching across and stabbing more than a bite — it was that good. Our daughter absolutely devoured her green spaghetti with shrimp, tomatoes, eggplant and basil.
For desserts, we went a bit overboard. First, the waitstaff brought us homemade cookies and biscotti after we’d each ordered one dessert — so we had a serving of three ice creams, three sorbets, a rich and velvety chocolate pudding with cinnamon and orange zest, plus a special tiramisu from the maitre ‘d.
We vow to dine here again on our next swing east.
A: 352 West 44th Street, NYC, NY 10036