Saturday, January 24, 2015

Don't Call It Fusion

All'onda brings a hint of Japan to Northern Italian cuisine


There is no shortage of fine Italian fare in this city, but sometimes abundance breeds boredom.

Yeah, we're spoiled like that. We're New Yorkers.
But bored is the last thing you'll be at All'onda, your new Union Square go-to for fine dining.

Opened by a couple of Altamarea Group vets, one of whom also brings his time at Morimoto to the menu, this new two-story spot perks up classic Northern Italian dishes with a bit of the unexpected.
But don't call it fusion. Just a little dash(i) of Japanese influence. 
Downstairs, you've got a big bar with a big wine/beer/sake list (there are about three dozen sparklers alone) and a decidedly more curtailed cocktail menu with rum-and-amaro sours and basil gimlets.
From there, you head up to the plush booths that line the dining room walls. Order some small bites and you'll start to see a bit of that far East influence in the arancini, topped with uni and squid ink, as well as the monkfish liver crostini with persimmon and onion.
Then it's on to razor clams with miso and sweetbreads with celery root and bonito. Tortellini in parmesan dashi, rigatoni with aged duck ragu, and spicy garganelli with crab and tarragon await you for your pasta course. If you're low-carbing it, there's no shame in the thin-sliced strip loin or the guinea hen served with a foie gras sugo.

You'll be glad Union Square's around the corner.

22 E. 13th St. (5th Ave.), East Village
(212) 231-2236

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 1 (out of 4)

Subway: 4/5/6/N/Q/R/L to Union Square
Scene: Date-night-central. You heard it here first.
Nearby: Corkbuzz; Headless Horseman; The Royal

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