Despite the fact that not a ONE of you contributed to where I should eat on Passover, I decided on La Pizza Fresca due to the rave reviews I found on Menupages. And though an $18 pasta dish is a little rich for me at the moment, by the looks of the place I figured I wouldn’t be disappointed.
My friends Sarah, Leora, and I arrived at La Pizza Fresca a little before 8pm thinking that we would be seated just in time to officially break Passover at 8:30pm. Suprisingly, we found the restaurant was still half-empty around 8pm but quickly filled up soon after we’d sat down. After a few attempts at catching the attention of our waiter, we finally got to ordering three glasses of their $13 White Wine Blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Trebbiano. Since there were only two white wines to choose from (one of which was $8 and unappealing) we decided to splurge for the good stuff, which proved to be quite tasty and a large pour! Now onto the main course…
I gave the menu a quick once over though I already knew exactly what I wanted… The Rigatoni ala Siciliana.
But it was fun listening to Sarah and Leora converse over their orders. Sarah, being a BIG pizza connoisseur, naturally wanted an excuse to have La Pizza Fresca’s pizza, once again! Though at one point her and Leora were very close to ordering the special Gnocchi made with asparagus and morels (woody mushrooms) they essentially wanted to eliminate the morels which I explained would compromise the flavor of the dish. Now, I am someone who is constantly asking for substitutions, but THIS dish should not be tampered with! So after all that they ended up with Margherita and Fresca pizzas.
Though the food looked, smelled, and tasted very good, I couldn’t help thinking how small my $18 pasta dish was. I wonder what the half order looked like! Needless to say I was STARVING after eating my 8 rigatonis and 8 eggplant bits. Yes, the rigatoni was delicious and cooked perfectly and the sauce was as satisfying as whipped cream on an ice cream sundae but WHERE WAS THE REST OF IT?
I didn’t try the pizza though Sarah and Leora both enjoyed it. Would I go back, NO!!!! There are too many better priced Italian restaurants that serve excellent pizza and pasta and I haven’t even been to most of them yet. So I think it’s safe to cross La Pizza Fresca off of your list of NYC Italian Restaurants to try. Unfortunately they are overpriced, serve tiny portions, and have sweet french bread. Now who wants sweet bread as an appetizer?