| The restaurant Il Gattopardo is located mere steps away from luxurious shopping on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and around the corner from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), but its culinary focus takes its fine dining clientele to Southern Italy with its delectable menu and attentive service. Owned by Gianfranco and Paula Sorrentino and Chef Partner Vito Gnazzo, Il Gattopardo is a delicious find in a city renowned for its restaurants.
Gianfranco Sorrentino, Chef Vito Gnazzo, Paula Bolla-Sorrentino
We had dinner at Il Gattopardo where "passion is our main ingredient" on a Friday night in mid-December 2017, and the restaurant was an intoxicating heady atmosphere of holiday bonhomie in the intimate lounge, and in the sixty-seat restaurant. Ivory votive candles softly illuminated tables dressed in pristine ivory linens and accessorized with single orchids in small burnished copper bowls. The décor was minimalistic with the clientele adding the "color" like living artwork.
Our waiter began our dining experience with celebratory glasses of Trevisiol Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry to pair with the amuse bouches of crispy arancini and tiny spinach rolls sent from Chef Vito Gnazzo to entice our palates for what was yet to come.
Il Gattopardo Restaurant
For our antipasti (appetizers) we shared the Parmigiana of zucchini with smoked mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce, and basil, and the Grilled octopus with oven baked fingerling potatoes, frisée and Castelvetrano olives; both of which were phenomenal and were well complemented by St. Pauls Plötzner, Pinot Bianco 2016, Südtirol Alto Adige, DOCG, 13.5% alcohol by volume.
We continued by sharing a primi (pasta course) of Homemade buckwheat fettuccini with grilled eggplant and roasted plum tomatoes, scented with fresh basil, which was extremely flavorful and deliciously paired with Barbera d'Asti "Montebruna" 2015, DOCG, 14.5% alcohol by volume, Giacomo Bologna, from Rocchetta Tanaro in Piedmont, Italy.
For our secondi (main course), we explored the mare (sea) and terra (land) offerings. From the sea, we had the Wild halibut poached in white wine and extra virgin olive oil, with rainbow carrots and cherry tomatoes, which was a lovely pairing of delicate fish complemented by the inherent sweetness of the baby carrots and cherry tomatoes.
For our land selection, we had the "Porchetta" which was slow-roasted pork shoulder scented with Felitto's wild fennel pollen and served with sautéed broccoli rabe, which was exquisite. The pork was fork tender and the slightly bitter broccoli rabe sautéed with garlic fully did justice to this dish. Paired with Masut da Rive Pinot Nero 2015, Sonzo Del Friuli, the porchetta was well worth a trip to New York.
"Porchetta" - Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder
Il Dolci Del Gattopardo - the dessert menu is an Italian symphony of delectable delights and should be a requisite when dining at the restaurant. We indulged in two of our favorite desserts since our childhood - a Rum "Babba del Re" with fresh panna montata flavored with lemongrass and lime, which was garnished with fresh mint, sliced strawberries, and large blackberries, and the Cassata Sicilian style garnished with three decadent pools of dark chocolate sauce, fresh raspberries and mint.
Rum "Babba del Re"
Both desserts were visually appealing, luscious on the palate, and more than exceeded our expectations, and were well paired with the dessert wine, Ramandolo 2011, DOCG, 12% alcohol by volume, a sweet, still wine made with 100% Verduzzo grapes from the Fruilo region of Italy, produced by Giovanni Dri Ramandolo. We endedour dining experience at Il Gattopardo with espressos accompanied with chocolate and almond biscotti. From start to finish, dining at Il Gattopardo was a most memorable experience. Benissimo!
Cassata Sicilian Style
In addition to their restaurant Il Gattopardo, the owners also own The Leopard at Café desArtistes, Mozzarella & Vino, and Il Gattopardo Catering.
Chef Vito Gnazzo
"IL GATTOPARDO is committed to producing top quality gastronomy, to the use of fresh and well-researched ingredients, and to keeping the tradition of Italian culture vibrant and passionate. Named after the 1963 classic Italian film, "The Leopard", starring Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale, and directed by the legendary filmmaker Luchino Visconti, Il Gattopardo serves traditional Southern Italian comfort food that has been adapted for the contemporary palate without compromising the authenticity of the cuisine, which became a must to its loyal upscale New Yorker clientele."
Il Gattopardo New York City
"Located ina ground floor of a townhouse in the heart of Manhattan, the sixty-seat restaurant and the twenty-seat garden was restored by the architecture firm of Terrence Riley, Keenan/Riley, Former Chief Curator of the Architecture and Design Department of The Museum of Modern Art of New York, where the restaurateur Gianfranco Sorrentino ran the entire food operation, by Sette MoMA Restaurant, in that Museum for nearly ten years."
Il Gattopardo is open for Lunch: Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 3:00pm, weekend Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am until 3:00 pm with live Jazz music, Dinner: Monday through Saturday from 5:00 pm until 11:30 pm, and Sunday from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm.
13-15 W 54th Street (between 5thand 6th Avenues)
New York, New York 10019
Read about our dining experience at Il Gattopardo's sister restaurant, The Leopard at des Artistes in the Restaurants section.
The Leopard at des Artistes
1 West 67thStreet
New York, NY10023
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