In an effort to break out of our neighborhood regularity, we endeavored to try something/anything new last night, something that wouldn't run us a few hundred bucks, something relatively comfortable, etc. etc. In other words, something unattainable by practically any stretch of the imagination.
I'd been wanting to try Bessou, which bills itself as, well let me show you what it bills itself as:
Our dishes are a modern take on everyday Japanese comfort food. Our ingredients are responsibly sourced and prepared with care, with a menu that is seasonal and changing year round.
However, we arrived to a full house at 7:30, and as I looked around the room, I noticed not many tables were with food, so rather than putting our names on a waiting list, we walked west, young man, and spied Quartino, with a little fireplace up front, and what looked to be a cozy interior. We entered to plenty of seats, and took 2 at a little table in the rear. Actually, there's another really cute room in the really rear through a hallway, which looked like it might be nice to have a little private get together in.
Anyway, reading the proffer, they bill themselves as, well let me show you how they bill themselves:
The flour is made from stone ground organic whole grains from Oregon: we use it for homemade bread, pasta, focaccia and desserts. Organic hemp flour is added for its taste, texture and health benefits. Our hemp focaccia is naturally gluten free made only with organic buckwheat, millet and hemp flour. Artisan cheeses are produced on local farms with raw milk from grass-fed cows. Whole brown rice and farro are also organic. All dishes are prepared with our own Ligurian production of organic olive oil added raw to preserve its flavors and natural vitamins. Juices, coffee, teas, milk, butter are always organic, including freshly squeezed orange juice. All eggs are from Pennsylvania free range, pasture raised, red star chickens. We also serve organic and vegan quinoa/amaranth gluten-free fusilli with any sauce on the menu. The NYC water for cooking and on tables is filtered on premises. The wines marked as organic or biodynamic are produced adhering strictly to traditional methods: each bottle is unique and slightly different from the previous one. We also produce our organic herbal blend from Bottega Organica.
Already I figure I'm not gonna enjoy this one bit, and we should've gone to Bar Primi or Sorbillo, both around the corner. Basically, I'm looking for some decent pasta, at a decent price, with decent comfort - why is that so damn hard to find these days?!
But bottom line is, I was kinda surprised; not at how much I liked what we ate, but that I didn't not like what we ate, if you get my drift. The little spinach appetizer we had, baked with some parm thrown on top, showed a deft hand at cooking that vegetable.
Significant Eater's swordfish pappardelle special was good, light on the sword but with a bunch of mushrooms and tomatoes. My tagliolini with artichokes, mint and pignoli - fine too. Both under $20!
With 3 quartinos of wine (at $14 each), a total before tip of $108. Now I'm not sending anyone here because, well, you know why. But it wasn't a bad find for a windy Thursday night, without a plan, and as a stumble in.
Now, does anyone know anything about this place: Fiaschetteria "Pistoia" East Village?