Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Fresh, homemade, organic pasta dishes – superbly executed for $10 a plate in the West Village…sound like a myth right? Not quite…
Let me introduce you to the West Village’s best kept secret…. Da Marcella, which means “Of Marcella”. This eatery is an ode to owner Manuel Moreno’s mother who taught him everything he knows, not just about food, but also about life.
At Da Marcella the aim is to go back to the way food was served a 100 years ago in Italy. They aspire to recreate a true Taverna ambiance as it used to be – a home away from home.
There are three founding principles on which Da Marcella is built around and one can see them not just in print as you enter the restaurant, but also in action within these four walls.
” The word ‘restaurant’ comes from the Latin ‘restaurare’ [to restore] as in “Come to our restaurant and we will feed you and restore you”.
“We believe that great food should be affordably priced and that nobody should get rich feeding thy neighbor”.
” The most indispensable ingredient of all good cooking: love for those you are cooking for”.
After my visit at Da Marcella, I have to say that they truly embody all of the above. Here, one experiences true Italian style food which is simple, unadorned and priced just right.
Executive Chef Francesco Mueses presents a great menu of home-style Italian dishes. Using all fresh and organic ingredients everything here is flavored with pride and passion.
Da Marcella might be one of the very few Italian restaurants that actually cooks its Bolognese ragù for at least eight hours – the way it was traditionally meant to be prepared – just as Mama Marcella did.
We were presented with course after course of standout dishes. Some of my favorites were the “Grilled Marinated Spanish Octopus”, “Braised Short Rib” and “Raffetto’s Fresh Taglierini with Giant Lump Crab Meat and Herring Roe”.
Da Marcella is surrounded with the warmth of the people that serve you. The wonderful wine director Alessandro Bandini not just filled our glasses with an awesome selection of regional Italian wines but also doubled up as our server.
Owner Manuel Moreno expressed his amazement at the response that New York City has had to his idea of bringing the love and memory of his mother’s cooking to the city. I sure am not surprised! With such authenticity, in both intention and taste …. it’s no wonder that Da Marcella is already a runaway success.
Here is some of what we ate:
Baked Eggplant, Tomato, Basil, Reggiano
Grilled Marinated Spanish Octopus with Caperberries
Oyster Bay Little Neck Clams “Gratinate”