NoHo has a new Italian addiction. The recently opened Circolo restaurant comes from Chef Fabio Scovaventi, an Italian native with a taste for the traditional and the chops to modernize his conventional Tuscan cuisine.
The vibe of the restaurant is a sort of authentic simplicity, from the warehouse meets farmhouse décor to the simple circular pattern on the napkins to the menu with its farm fresh ingredients and even fresher cocktails.
Everything here is fresh fresh fresh. Start with a specialty cocktail from Head Mixologist Salvatore Tafuri before you even contemplate the menu—it’s an important aspect of Circolo’s communal mission. From the summery breeze of the Sisco Sour to the spicy salt on each Mark Dillon’s rim (a sophisticated margarita), each drink is a perfect blend of simple fresh ingredients for pure refreshing cocktails.
The wine list also ranges from the exceptional yet affordable to the extravagant and noteworthy, so save room. The cocktails are all inspired by traditional Italian libations with evocative names like La Bicicletta, La Medicina, Il Garibaldi and, of course, Il Negroni.
“Circolo” is an Italian word meaning both circle and club. In traditional Italian society, a circolo is a local spot to meet friends, play cards, discuss current affairs and enjoy an aperitivo.
Here, in this little spot in NoHo, Circolo begins to mean family. Everyone here is so friendly you’ll think you appaparated to Tuscany through a worm hole at the bar. The menu ranges from grilled octopus, grilled lamb with artichokes and a lemon grass drizzle, vegetable-stuffed chicken with fresh beets, paccheri with crunchy eggplant and goat cheese, deep fried Tuscan meatballs and all the pastas and bread you could ever dream of.
Do not, I repeat do not, skip desert. The raspberry tart paired with an effervescent glass of moscato and (let’s get gluttonous) the feather light tiramisu with a rich tawny port is the perfect way to end the night here. No words need to be said, just eat sip and enjoy. It is the epitome of Tuscany in every taste.
If you like boisterous Italian folks with charming Italian accents urging you to eat, congratulations—you’re alive. And you’re in the right place. Check out Circolo before the crowds take over and the wait list leads into 2014…