How I discovered Tre Restaurant in New York’s SOHO is quite by accident. Frankly, I was craving homemade pasta and wanted it to come from a small place that was family run in the Village, SOHO or Tribeca. Criteria was simply that, nothing more, nothing less. I came across Tre, which wasn’t far from a few other favorite eateries in the area I’ve been to over the years. After a chat with the owner Gino, who went on for 15 minutes about how fresh his ingredients were and how authentic his cooking was, Napoli style of course, I had to try it out. It was a spontaneous decision so off we went.
“Tonight?” he asked. “You want to come in tonight? Can it be another night” The poor guy had been up cooking since 4 am and needed to take a break, he said, but assured me that Angelo, his buddy would look after us if we came in.
Frankly, I was there for the homemade pasta and there were a few options to choose from, including lasagne, fettucini, spaghetti and gnocchi. Note not all their pasta is homemade but they had a number of choices to make it worth the stop. I substituted a bow tie pasta with veal with their homemade fettucini and we also ordered their homemade fettucini with Porcini, Cremini, & Shitake mushrooms, Parmigiano and truffle oil.
They also have a delicious radicchio, arugula and walnuts salad, which they serve with gorgonzola and pear, although we substituted the gorgonzola for pecorino cheese. Yum!
We had to try the fried ravioli since we were told that this was also prepared Napoli style. It was also apparently a local favorite and is a rarity on a traditional Italian restaurant menu. Delicious!
Tre is also known for their street food bite-sized samples, which include crispy fried artichokes, parsley with lemon, breaded fried mozzarella with a spicy tomato sauce, fried rice balls, sweet pea and mozzarella, fried ravioli with ricotta, salami and black pepper (above), old-fashioned mini meatballs, crispy goat cheese with red beet puree and crispy cod fritters with a puttanesca sauce. They are all only $6 a pop.
Cheesecake came marching out with a couple of dessert wines. How could we resist?
We loved this little gem! My only plea to Gino and team is to add a few more medium to full bodied red’s to their wine menu, both by the glass and by the bottle. The choices by the glass were a tad limited although no doubt, enough Chiantis and other light bodied choices for most Italians. That said, it’s not as if there’s not a veal and steak on the list so I’d love to see a few bolder reds on the menu
Next up is Pepolino on West Broadway. Think unpretentious trattoria serving Tuscan food with daily specials & brunch every day. Right on the edge of SOHO, it serves homestyle Italian food, as well as a fabulous ricotta cheesecake. Plus, there’s outdoor seating, which is great in the late spring, summer and fall.
A few other Italian eateries for fabulous food worth mentioning include:
Bacaro for traditional Italian fare
Sorella for Italian tapas
Sauce for Italian sandwiches/subs, breakfast and brunch
- Mangiami Restaurant for traditional Italian fare
San Marzano for more traditional Italian fare
Taverna Di Bacco – classic Italian food (across the street from Tre)
Antonioni’s for classic Italian pizza
- Tre Restaurant | 173 Ludlow Street | New York, NY 10002 – (between E. Houston & Stanton) — 212.353.3353
- Pepolino Restaurant | 281 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013 — 212. 996.9983
- Bacaro | Lower East Side – Italian 136 Division Street, New York, NY
- Sorello | Lower East Side – Italian, Tapas, Wine Bar 95 Allen Street, New York, NY — 212.274.9595 (2 blocksf rom Broome Street)
- Sauce | 78-84 Rivington Street, New York, NY
- Cucina Della Fontana | 368 Bleecker Street, New York, NY — 212.242.0636
- L’Oro Di Napoli | 206 Sullivan Street, New York, NY — 212.995.9200 or 212.598.4952 (cozy)
- Mangiami Restaurant | 9 Stanton Street, New York, NY
- San Marzano | 71 Rivington Street, New York, NY
- Taverna de Bacco | 175 Ludlow Street, New York, NY (across the street from Tre)
- Antonionio’s | 177 Chrystie Street, New York, NY
We plan to tackle Brooklyn, the Bronx and Long Island in the next few months.