Locanda Verde is easily one of the most difficult reservations to score in New York City. Chef Andrew Carmellini, of the newly opened restaurant The Library at The Public Theater, is the head chef at this rustic yet upscale Italian restaurant located in Tribeca. A few notable names are also involved with this restaurant such as Robert De Niro, Ken Friedman (of the Spotted Pig) and Josh Pickard (of the recently shuttered Chinatown Brasserie). Locanda Verde takes reservations about a month in advance but even then getting a table for two at any times other than 5:30 or 10:30 seem next to impossible. We’d say your best bet is to try walking in with a small group but even then we’ve been told wait times often reach 2 hours or more. However, Locanda Verde is open for lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends just in case you have the same amount of luck we have had at obtaining a reservation. We decided to try Carmellini’s famed Italian spot for lunch one afternoon and see if Locanda Verde really is worth all the hype. The restaurant itself is quite charming we must admit. The restaurant is much larger than we had anticipated but the dim lighting, dark woods and booths help keep the space intimate.
The menu is split up between appetizers and entrees and they also manage to slip in a few sandwich options into the lunch menu as well. To start we had the Duck Meatballs followed by the Pappardelle and My Grandmother’s Ravioli. The Duck Meatballs were very moist and the sauce was flavorful. Often we find meatballs to be massive and very dry but luckily for us this wasn’t the case. The Pappardelle was another good dish as well. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the fresh ricotta on top was a nice touch but the lamb bolognese was a bit heavy and we could have done without the mint. The biggest surprise was My Grandmother’s Ravioli. One of our least favorite meals is a plate of pasta with thick and heavy tomato sauce and when we saw the dish we were a bit worried. First served by Carmellini at Cafe Boulud, My Grandmother’s Ravioli is a blend of beef, veal, pork ravioli in a tomato sauce topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano. However, the tomato sauce was easily one of the lightest tomato sauces we’ve had in New York and the ravioli itself was very delicate as well which paired nicely with the lightness of the sauce. In addition to the dish being generously portioned, it is one of the cheaper menu options at only $18.
Overall we did enjoy our visit to Locanda Verde but we don’t think it is worth the hassle to get a reservation. One can easily visit the restaurant during lunch and get a good idea of the type of food served without having to be on hold for a half hour or more trying to snag a table for dinner. We definitely suggest checking Locanda Verde out, just not during prime time dinner hours.
3777 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013