ADDRESS: 281 Church Street (at White Street)
New York, NY 10013
WEB SITE: Click Here www.whiteandchurch.com
TELEPHONE: (212) 226-1607
FAX: (212) 226-1634
HOURS: (Valid in mid-September) Inquire.
Lunch: 12:00 Noon – 3:00 PM, Mon.-Fri.
Dinner: 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM, Sun.-Thurs.
5:00 PM – 2:00 AM, Fri.-Sat.
Brunch: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Sun.
Happy Hour: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Mon.-Fri.
CUISINE: Italian with global influences
CREDIT CARDS: All major cards accepted
PRICE RANGE: Dinner: $11 – $15
SEATING CAPACITY: Dining Room: 35
2 Elevated Lounges: 12 & 16
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 1
PARTY FACILITIES: Available upon request
DESIGNER: Vincent Mora
Design & Build: Enko Construction Corporation
EXECUTIVE CHEF: Matteo Boglione
MIXOLOGIST: Cristina Bini
GENERAL MANAGER: Athos Fiori
OWNERS: Angelo Perugini
OPENING DATE: June, 2011
Just when you think New York will never get it right, in the contemporary-Italian- restaurant arena, you discover a gem like White and Church, Acclaimed Restaurateur/Chef Matteo Boglione’s second release (remember the two star Il Matto) has lowered prices, created a warm and welcoming atmosphere and, mercifully, has not thrown the pasta out with the bath water. At White and Church,Sr. Boglione prepares an eclectic combination of classic and innovative Italian small and large plates with global influences.
Of course, that definition says nothing of the excellence of his cooking, the creativity of his dishes and the amazing bar that is a show stopper in its own right. The Full-service sit-down bar is an impressive15-foot long custom-made rectangular stone and mahogany affair, Located in the front of the restaurant, it features a fine selection of regional Italian wines. A variety of wines are available by the glass. In addition, a premier selection of spirits, liquors, after-dinner drinks, dessert wines, imported and draft beers, and the celebrity of Cristina Bini is justified and evidenced in such specialty cocktails such as the Maltese (Ginger Infused Vodka, Red Bell Pepper, Ginger, Martini Rose), the White Stone Martini (Ligurian White Stone Infused in Dry Vermouth), and the Buffalo 66 (Vodka Infused with Rosemary, Lemon Juice, Worcester Sauce, Celery Salt, Red Beet andHot Pepper).The cocktail list features 60 classic and innovative variations.
They are cleverly organized by taste (salty,) style, (innovative, Classic or anytime) and even devote a section to libations garnished with Edible Insects. Don’t laugh, a tequila number (The” Why Not?”) blends Tequila with Cointreau, sugar, lime, and avocado and is topped with dried spicy Mexican worms. It is potent and devilishly delicious.
And despite the superb bar scene, there is a serious kitchen here and we didn’t experience a clinker in a multi-course-dinner that was brimming with the “wow” factor from appetizers to desserts, or in the case of White and Church, Fried, Cold, Hot and Sweet, (The Dinner Menu is available at the bar, too and there is an amazing Tasting Menu of 10 courses for $ 50.00, sans alcohol.).
Before getting into food specifics, let us discuss the airy, attractive space (formally home to Il Matto by way of Arqua) with its romantic, veranda-style Lounges, located in the front of the restaurant, which are enhanced by multi-colored stone banquettes with plush pillows, modern stone tables, and mood lighting to create a spacious and romantic setting overlooking the bar and dining room, and a picturesque corner of Tribeca.
The main dining room features a contemporary, ambiance,.which is stylish, sophisticated with its 16-foot high ceiling, custom-made organic wood tables and chairs, cast-iron Italian chandeliers, and sage and terra di sienna-colored walls. There are 2 hand-made communal stone and organic wood dining tables in the front and rear of the restaurant, and many floor-to-ceiling windows with orange linen curtains.One corner of the room offers a large screen where, on our visit, Italian Art films with subtitles kept the crowd amused, while a fabulous eclectic soundtrack provided provocative ear candy.
While you can do just fine drinking and grazing, it would be a shame to miss Matteo Boglione’s extraordinary interpretations of such standouts as impeccably FRIED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS with TOMATO SAUCE and BLACK ROCK SALT. Now I know why they are generally soggy and boring in most restaurants. At White and Church,they are given a tempura-like coating and a quick fry and arrive crisp and delicious. LESS is DEFINITELY MORE! STUFFED BREADED GREEN OLIVES are delivered in a martini glass (all the tableware is lovely, by the way) and are little wonders, stuffed with pork, veal, pistachios and mortadella. HOME CUT FRENCH FRIES with KETCHUP and MAYO may read like nothing, but they are pan-fried in clarified butter and divine. These were all listed in the “Fried” section of the menu.
From the “Cold” section, look no further than the incredible PECORINO CHEESE CREME BRULE’ with RED ONION MARMELADE and BALSAMIC REDUCTION, Its crackling crust gives way to Le Cirque style smoothie with the haunting Pecorino flavor.
OCTOPUS & FOIE-GRAS Companions
If you like it “Hot,” that department offers an unusually tender steamed OCTOPUS, with sautéed FOIE-GRAS, roasted POTATOES,BASIL PESTO, and caramelized BLACK OLIVES, whose touch of sweetness impart the final kicker. Also lovely, was a perfectly rare TUNA FILET, floating in EGGPLANT CREAM and garnished with FRIED ARTICHOKES,BLACK OLIVES and BASIL OIL.
And what’s an Italian restaurant without pasta? You won’t be disappointed at White and Church. BURRATA CHEESE RAVIOLI with black truffle sauce is light and elegant, but we really loved CARBONARA PASTA TWO WAYS, old fashioned spaghetti paired with contemporary ravioli. While many restaurants cheat and use cream, Boglione sticks with the classic preparation, but uses far less eggs than normally encountered, resulting in a today rendition that is full of taste, but avoids heaviness.
For a unique treat, go for the WHITE & CHURCH BURGER, with its surprise stuffing of MACARONI and CHEESE, VINE TOMATOES and BEEF JUS. It’s as good as it sounds.
Don’t miss dessert, and if have but one, we adored EGGPLANT MILLEFOGLIE, which will make you rethink a vegetable’s role in the order of things, when that order refers to its arrival in the course of a meal. Delicious!!!
Service is knowledgeable and discrete. Our server, Maggie, has been there since the previous incarnation and was flawless.
I think you get the point that we liked White and Church a lot. And so will you!
Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved