A Voce is a Michellin starred modern Italian restaurant located in Gramercy right off of Madison Square Park. Missy Robins the executive chef in this contemporary Italian restaurant that is kind of off the beaten path. While normally the menu at A Voce is on the expensive side (pasta dishes on average cost around $30 and meat dishes range from $25-$40), the restaurant does participate in Restaurant Week which is a great opportunity to get a taste of what A Voce offers at a fraction of the normal price. The restaurant itself is located on an attractive corner overlooking Madison Square Park and while there is an outdoor patio, most guests opt to sit inside the modernly designed restaurant. While the interior is pretty for the most part, I’d recommend getting a booth rather than a table as A Voce uses swivel chairs rather than normal dining chairs which, while visually it does look pleasing, it can be a bit troublesome when you eat.
After Andrew Carmellini‘s departure, I wasn’t quite sure if A Voce would still be as good as it used to be (which is why I decided to try it for Restaurant Week first). The wine list at A Voce was quite large and the restaurant was serving many large format bottles even during lunch. I would recommend the Jean-Luc Columbo Rose but be sure to get a full glass and skip the quartino, especially if you are sharing. To start, I had the Mozzarella and Prosciutto with Stone Fruit and my friend had the Fluke Crudo with Marinated Cucumbers, Chili and Lemon. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much out of the Mozzarella and Prosciutto dish but actually A Voce did do a great job preparing. Four pieces of prosciutto rested on top of the fresh mozzarella and the stone fruit actually added a sweet flavor to the dish. The Fluke Crudo was also a great dish as well. The Fluke was thinly sliced and rested on a bed of cucumber and chili. The light flavors of the fluke and cucumber went well with the slightly spicy chili. Next we both had the Mandilli, which are pretty much, like the menu says, pasta handkerchiefs. with Merluzzo, Toasted Fennel, Capers and Olives. The Mandilli were cooked well but I did find that the olive taste did overpower the dish. I did enjoy the Merluzzo as the fish was a good way to transition from the heavy olives that were finely chopped and sprinkled on top of the pasta. For dessert I had the Semifreddo, basically an almost frozen ice cream or custard dessert, with Lemon Mousse and Blueberries. The semifreddo itself was sweet and the texture was almost like a cake and the inclusion of the lemon mousse made the dish quite refreshing (almost like a palate cleanser).
I would say that A Voce is one of the better options for Restaurant Week. While I wasn’t too impressed with the Mandilli, the Semifreddo and Crudo were excellent. The setting is beautiful and the service is good as well but as of now, I’m not quite sure if I would go back for the normal dinner menu as while I did enjoy my lunch there are a few other places I would much rather spend $30 on a plate of pasta at such as Sfoglia.