Eat Here: Olio e Più, New YorkBy Angelica Malin
Looking for an easy, intimate date spot in the West Village? We’ve got just the spot. We checked out local favourite Olio e Più on a balmy Sunday evening in NYC – here’s what we thought:
I love the vibe of Olio e Piu. Inspired by Neapolitan cuisine, Olio e Più brings Italian tradition to the vibrant intersection where Sixth and Greenwich avenues meet Christopher Street. The perfectly positioned restaurant in the Greenwich Village, sitting on a popular corner in the Village, has outdoor seating in their covered pavement eatery, perfect for soaking up summer in NYC.
We loved their open patio, which is surrounded by flowers and greenery, overlooking Jefferson Market Library. The restaurant has a warm, intimate atmosphere – and is perfect for all occasions, whether that’s a date night, dinner with friends or family outing. There were lots of young families on the night we visited which only added to the warmth and charm of the restaurant. Head Chef Pedro Cruz is passionate about simple, delicious Neapolitan cuisine – with a focus on house-made pasta, hand-stretched pizza and cooking from the traditional wood-fired oven.
The food is a triumph. Every dish is well-considered and packed full of flavour. To start with, we enjoyed a selection of their Italian appetizers – the Cariofici Crudi is a highlight, an artichoke salad with lemon vinaigrette, fennel and tangy Stiltone cheese, it’s incredibly delicious and moreish. The octopus is also great, grilled with pickled peppers, onions, fregola and fresh herbs – simple, great cooking at its best. The salmon tartare is fresh and light, with creamy avocado and a citrusy dressing.
The house-made pastas are where the real magic happens. We went for the Burrata & Limoncello Ravioli with fresh shrimp, kale and herbs – which might sound strange, but honestly it just works. The limoncello isn’t overpowering and give the perfect offset to the creamy cheese with a citrus tang that’s just so good. You can taste the quality of the pasta in every bite – it’s so light and fresh.
For a second pasta, we tried the Paccheri Nere – but swapped the squid ink pasta for regular Fettuccine and honestly I think I might have semi-invented the best pasta in the world. Taking all the credit there. The seafood pasta is out of this world – the spicy tomato and white wine sauce is so rich and delicious, and there’s seafood in every bite, a mixture of fresh shrimps, mussels and sepia. The fish is perfectly cooked in the sauce and it all works together so well. It’s the kind of pasta you’re always in the mood for and I’m dreaming of it right now.
We skipped dessert in a carb coma, but the homemade Tiramisu comes highly recommended by the charming staff.
There’s a decent Italian wine and cocktail list, inspired by the shores of Italy with lots of great wines and spritz cocktails. Try the Giardino cocktail, made with Grey Goose Vodka, Italicus, strawberries and basil – it’s the ideal summer cocktail to enjoy alongside some Italian small plates.
If you can’t tell already, I loved Olio e Più. Everything about the place is so easy and warm; from the charming outdoor dining to the informal eating style and delicious homemade pastas. It’s the kind of restaurant you’ll want to take friends to and make memories over bowls of seafood pasta. Take my word for it: go.