The NoMad area has just gotten even more delicious.
Mark Barak's newest restaurant, La Pecora Bianca (1133 Broadway, 212-498- 9696), Italian for "white sheep," opened in late July.
And as the restaurateur behind the beautiful West Village spot Claudette, Barak knows how to give us exactly what we want -- a bright space with sky-high ceilings, comforting, ingredient-driven dishes and a drink menu with plenty of negronis and a private label rose.
The restaurant itself is situated in the former Havana Tobacco Company showroom in the St. James Building, and some pieces have remained, such as the marble column in the open kitchen. But new touches give the space a farmhouse feel, from the bright white walls to the wooden tables and grass-green chairs to the copper accents throughout. Designed by Nema Workshop and Chiara de Rege Interiors, it's exactly how I'd want my living room to look -- if I had the budget.
In the kitchen, chef Simone Bonelli creates classic Italian dishes that highlight local ingredients. Among my favorites were a bright and creamy gazpacho ($10) and the shaved zucchini ($11) with crunchy marcona almonds, pecorino and a lemony vinaigrette. I especially loved the peach salad ($12), where the peaches were charred and caramelized, then plopped onto a smooth, creamy heap of sheep's milk ricotta cheese. But as usual, it was the pasta that stole my heart. I could eat the gramigna ($17), with homemade pork sausage and not-bitter-at-all broccoli rabe, every day.
Ariel Kanter is an editor at Gilt City.