Some restaurants push their tasting menus. Rezdôra doesn’t. A few steps down from the sidewalk, at the same block of East 20th Street as Gramercy Tavern and the brownstone where Teddy Roosevelt changed into born, Rezdôra lists a “local pasta tasting” for $90 on its menu. The region in question is Emilia-Romagna, whose refinements in the art of rolling and saucing noodles are well-known even though Italians from different country elements.
The chances are that most of the 5 kinds of pasta within the tasting are exactly the ones you photo when you reflect onconsideration on Emilia-Romagna, starting with tortellini in brodo. This could appear to make it an easy promotion, and but servers at Rezdôra in no way tried to sell me at the tasting. Until I requested approximately it one night time, I had in no way visible the separate menu card that describes every path.
With a few hesitations, I ordered it. Every one of the pasta becomes superb, and one or two could be worth on foot a long distance for. After the fifth course changed into long gone, it slowly dawned on me that Stefano Secchi, Rezdôra’s chef and certainly one of its owners, had just laid down a directly flush.
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The tortellini had been penny-length hoops rolled around minced and blended beef in a parcel just big enough to signify the concept of meat. “This is a special broth crafted from older chickens,” a server said as he poured a steaming liquid from a kettle over the tortellini. It was the color of turkey gravy. The broth spent about half of an afternoon on the burner drew a number of its power from melted Parmigiano-Reggiano. It became greater severe than canned hen broth in kind of the equal way that a dry-aged rib-eye is more excessive than a McDonald’s all-beef patty.
This becomes accompanied by a clean, nearly fluffy tomato-basil sauce over maccheroni al Pettine, delicate tubes with ridges they get from being rolled through the hand, along with a comb made for the job. Three straw-colored blobs that looked like melted Brie turned out to be a glossy and wonderful fonduta crafted from Parmigiano-Reggiano. From there, it changed into directly tortelloni, each approximately three bites massive, full of rich, clean ricotta and shiny with melted brown butter in which some sage leaves have been bubbled.
If we are speaking about Emilia-Romagna, we’ve got to talk about ragù, and that was the next course, tossed with narrow ribbons of tagliolini. Some people will discover the ragù saltier than they like. Almost everyone will locate it extra soft and smooth than the last 20 or 30 ragús they ate.
The excursion winds down with a round, meat-filled Antolini, a department of the ravioli circle of relatives living in Parma. They are served in something called crema di Parmigiano; you will now not be far off if you consider an Alfredo sauce cooked for one of the extra luxurious Roman emperors. This is not Rome, even though the sauce gets the tart counterpoint it needs from an inky, 25-year-old balsamic vinegar poured directly from the bottle.
In May, Mr. Secchi blew into town on a small gust of publicity whipped up over his time at Osteria Francescana, the Modena workshop. Massimo Bottura reconfigures the touchstone flavors of the vicinity. In dishes with names like “memories of a mortadella sandwich.”
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Mr. Bottura’s technique to menu writing seems to have rubbed off on Mr. Secchi higher than his experimental urges did. At Rezdôra, you are unlikely to catch the kitchen the usage of any openly modernist techniques. However, you could properly encounter “cherry season in Vignola,” a pleasant if the extremely too soupy plate of stracciatella with toasted almonds, almond milk, and cherries both sweet and sour; or “cow grazing in Emilia-Romagna,” a sirloin basted with butter whose richness is modulated via a sauce of sweet pink peppers; or “Grandma on foot through the forest in Emilia,” a transfixing plate of mushroom purée, slivered snap-pea pods and little hats of spinach pasta packed with braised leeks.