Cooking Wine and Travel



  211 Waverly Place
  New York, NY 10014

Phone: 212-627-7575


Pricing: $$$

Share With Your Friends:


Morandi is a rustic Italian trattoria from restaurateur Keith McNally. McNally has been active in the New York City restaurant scene for 30 years. In that time, he has opened a variety of restaurants including Balthazar, Pastis, and Pulino´s.

Morandi is a showpiece of exposed beams and brick, servers with heavy accents, chalkboards listing the regions of Italy, and rustic chandeliers. Chef Jody Williams (who earned wide acclaim at Gusto) cooks specialties from all over Italy, including many of her signature dishes.

Posted By: Chief Foodie Officer


Chief Foodie Officer

I´m always impressed when a restauranteur opens and operates multiple great restaurants, especially in the foodie Mecca of New York City. Keith McNally´s Morandi is another hit in a long line of great restaurants that spread across the Manhattan landscape. Having dined at several of his other restaurants including Balthazar, Pastis, and Pulino´s, I was not surprised to find outstanding service and a warm and inviting ambiance, but stepping off with another Italian concept was quite an undertaking especially considering the wide range of outstanding offerings in the city. Sure, Frank Bruni at the NY Times thinks the food could show more imagination and nerve, but I´m not sure he understands Italian cooking. It doesn´t take an unnecessary level of imagination or nerve to create great Italian food. It simply requires an understanding of its age-old traditions and the process by which great Italian chefs craft their art.The beauty of Italian food is defined by its simplicity and unabashed flavors that come from using fresh ingredients, introduced in the proper order and cooked with perfect timing - all of which is clearly evident in Jody William´s dishes. She is a true culinary talent as evidenced by her resume (Il Buco, Giorgione and Gusto), and her performance at Morandi is no exception.

We tried several of their dishes, including the Burruta e pachini, Polpettine all a siciliana (meatballs), Bolognese pasta, and Linguine alle vongole (pasta with clams in a white wine sauce). The pasta was perfectly cooked al dente and the flavors were wonderful. I was most appreciative that they let me change up the Bolognese and use Papardelle pasta. The meatballs were both light and hearty (almost a contradiction), and the pine nuts and raisins were a nice add. But my favorite dish was the Burrata cheese appetizer. I rarely order Burrata outside of Italy because I´m most often disappointed. Burrata has a very short shelf life and it takes great craft to produce the sweet creamy flavors of authentic Burrata cheese. The Burrata at Morandi was among the best we have ever had. I was also impressed by the use of roasted cherry tomatoes rather than the traditional sliced heirlooms (proving that Jody does have an imagination).

The one thing that Bruni got right is that Morandi is crowed and loud. But you have to give the masses credit on this one because the reason they are here is they appreciate good food. The noise level is high, but so is the energy and excitement. This is definitely not the place for someone who prefers to lounge in overstuffed chairs with white linen table cloths, but there are plenty of places in the city that offer that experience. Morandi is to Italian food what Balthazar does for French cuisine - great food served in a high energy and fun environment. This is definitely a great place for foodies!

Sunday - April 7, 2013