Back in March, I was invited to a pasta tasting at Spina in the East Village, so I tapped Minty to join me.
The menu had the logo embossed on its leather cover… kinda cool.
As this was a tasting, everything was chosen for us. First up: wild mushroom polenta; goat cheese polenta covered with wild mushrooms and chicken jus. I loved the wild mushroom assortment on top, but was less enamored of the goat cheese polenta. However, Minty raved about this and said it was both his favorite dish of the night and that he wanted more.
Next up: meatballs made of veal, beef and pork, served with a tomato sauce and parmigiano reggiano. These are actually included in their happy hour special – I believe $5 for an order. Tender, tasty bites, pretty good meatballs actually. The best I’ve had? not by a long shot. But satisfying in their own way.
I was really happy the winter salad (shaved brussels sprouts, avocado, cranberries, apples, pumpkin seeds, parmigiano reggiano, lemon dressing) landed in front of me. This had everything I like in it, and then some, and I happily ate all of this; the flavors and textures all complemented each other really well. My only nitpick is that calling this a winter salad when there’s avocado in it seemed a little… off. But it was delicious, naming issues aside.
Then, what we were really there to experience: the pasta! As this was a tasting, we were smartly served three smaller portions so we could fully appreciate each, instead of filling up and feeling gross afterwards.
Black pepper pappardelle, with wild boar ragu, rosemary and barberries, was surprisingly light. The pasta was airy, and while the sauce was rich, it didn’t overwhelm the pasta nor the palate.
Basil malfati with house smoked tomato sauce, eggplant, garlic confit and fresh ricotta was by far my favorite of the night. Whole cloves of garlic, confit to the point of tender sweetness, basil-scented pasta sheets, with lovely clouds of fresh ricotta… delicious. I inhaled my portion, and was offered more, but I declined.
Malloreddus, or saffron-infused gnocchetti with a veal and pork tomato ragu, was also tasty, but my mind was completely focused on the basil malfati. Very tasty.
Overall, everything we tried was pretty tasty – with an excellent wine list to go along with it – and the care with which the pasta was made was evident in each bite. While Spina is a bit out of the way from my normal path, I wouldn’t object to returning… and I recommend anyone who enjoys fresh made pasta and a great wine list to visit!
Please note that I received this meal compliments of Spina’s PR team. I received no monetary compensation to post about this meal, nor was I under any obligation to do so.