Restaurateur Nathalie de la Fontaine spent several years in Italy and of course fell in love with it. Upon her return to the US, she felt compelled to bring the best pieces of her experience back here to New York City. That’s how Trattoria Machiavelli was born.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own
Machiavelli is the best-kept secret of the Upper West Side. Enter this hidden gem and you are transported to Renaissance Italy. Nathalie has every nook and corner of the space furnished with handcrafted decor made by Italian artisans. It all comes together so beautifully and is the kind of space you want to stay a while in to soak in all that surrounds you.
The love of aesthetics and art follows suit when it comes to the menu. Chef Gian Pietro Ferro serves modernized versions of classic Italian dishes plated beautifully. From fresh seasonal salads like crispy fennel with pomegranate to hand-made pastas such as the Tortelli alla Mantovana filled with pumpkin, ricotta.
One of my favorite dishes was the ‘Gamberi con “Fregola” Sarda” made with pan seared shrimp served over “fregola” which is an Israeli couscous styled pasta found in Sardinia.
I also really enjoyed the “Casunzei Ampezzani” a specialty of the Dolomiti region in which half-moons are filled with red beet, and ricotta and topped with a butter & poppy-seed sauce. This is rather an unusual dish that I have never seen on other menus.
Our dessert tasting brought, amongst others, a really heartwarming take on a decadent bread pudding. Despite have eaten a table full of food – we somehow managed to find space to tuck into a whole helping of it.
They often have live classical or jazz performances showcasing local talent from the nearby renowned Mannes College of Music and Julliard. This really keeps with the neighborhood, family feel of the place. Machiavelli really is an undiscovered treasure just waiting to be discovered. Try it – you really will fall in love.
Here is some of what we ate:
Finocchio Sedano e Melograno