The smaller, the better! That’s how we like our restaurants to be! Piccola Cucina Enoteca is a charming Italian restaurant with a few locations around New York.
I remember the very first time I went to Piccola Cucina on Prince Street. The place was not new – it was founded back in 2008 – but I only had a chance to visit them on September 2014.
Behind the Scenes NYC was just starting its journey uncovering the local New York scene, I had just hired my immigration lawyers to kick off my Visa process, so I wanted to start our explorations in grand style!
As soon as you walk in Piccola Cucina, you’ll be surprised on how tiny the place is.
There are maybe only around 10 tables, all pretty packed up together. But, no one really seems to mind, nor pay attention to what’s happening with their neighbor.
If you’re a visual person like me, the good thing is that you can peek around to see what the dishes look like.
I went there with a friend that I’ve known since we were 3-4 years old, that studied with me back in school and eventually in college. He’d been living in NYC for quite some time, working for a renowned bank, and knew about all my life changing plans of moving to New York City.
Since then, everything ended up well: I moved to New York and properly started my business. There is just so much to see in this city that, even though I do go to places I love multiple times, I always tend to look for new places to explore. It’s always good for new content for you guys!
That said, I hadn’t found a good opportunity to go back, until a few days ago with 2 good friends that also live here and have never been there.
We did a reservation for Sunday, at 2pm. The place is so tiny that if you don’t have a reservation, you’ll probably have to wait a while for a table.
I woke up a little later than normal, since Sundays are my lazy days. I had a light breakfast to actually arrive hungry at Piccola Cucina. I wanted to know how Chef Philip Guardione, a true Sicilian raised, would surprise me this time!
We all ordered different dishes:
- To share: Bruschetta ai Pomodorini e Basilico – Classic Cherry Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
- Cavatelli ai Funghi Porcini – Cavatelli with Porcini Mushrooms
- Lasagna al Ragu – Lasagna with Meat Ragu, Tomato and Bechamel Sauce
- Pasta alla Norma – Eggplant Rolls Stuffed with Tomatoes Spaghetti and Ricotta Cheese
- Red Wines by the glass: Divus Ciavolic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Cembra Pinot Noir
All the dishes are super well served and came in beautiful pans that was pretty unique! I actually ordered the rest of mine to go. I literally was able to eat only half!
“I only came to New York for a visit, but the energy and vitality of the people bewitched me. Today the Big Apple has become my city, where this unexpected adventure all started, and my goal is to bring the joy and flavor of my country here”. ~ Chef Philip Guardione
We decided not to order dessert, but we did see the Cannoli with Ricotta Cheese and the Tiramisú at the neighbor tables. They looked delicious and the people eating them, seemed very happy with their order! Ha!
So, after some coffee, it was time to go! We had a fantastic time! The staff was ultra-friendly and solicitous, music was pleasant, and guests came from all over the globe. We could listen to them speaking multiple different languages.
Piccola Cucina is a perfect place for a brunch with friends. It’s also a fantastic idea to surprise your date on a trendy, intimate New York spot! But, not really fun for small kids though…
If you’re in SoHo, you can just take more time to explore.
So, go grab a drink at a speakeasy bar called The Ship, have fun at the famous interactive exhibit called Color Factory, or go for dessert and coffee at Sweets by Chloe. I love their Red Velvet cupcake – it’s vegan, but if I hadn’t told you, you’d never notice!
Hours: Please check details for each location on website.
Enoteca – 184 Prince Street
Sicilian Osteria – 196 Spring Street
Estiatorio – 75 Thompson Street
Upper East Side – 106 East 60th Street
Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Piccola Cucina