Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s: Italy’s Gnocchi in New York
I believe that Gnocchi (potato-based-pasta) is one of the most mispronounced food words. It sounds weird. It’s hard to read. It’s hard to pronounce. But it tastes delicious. And for all New Yorkers who are craving that particular Italian dish, there is a small restaurant in East Village that specializes in fresh, hand-made Gnocchi-and they just added new flavorful and creamy dishes to their menu. As an Italian food-fanatic, I couldn’t wait to get to the restaurant and taste their new recipes.
The restaurant embraces the coziness of an authentic Italian house: Dark-green walls. Vintage frames. Beautifully-aged, leather furniture. The smell of Italian cuisine. The stacked bottles of wine… It all made me feel like I stepped in the house of an old cook, in Naples. And the food there, had the same effect on me.
Starting with appetizers, my friend and I ordered a side of deliciously crunchy Calamari Fritti , and the Parmigiana di Melanzane. The eggplant dish is truly the most delicious I have ever had in my life. It melts in the mouth. It excites the taste buds. The portions are also so generous, that we went out for a little break, before attacking the main courses.
Outside, we got the chance to meet the owner of Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s, Anisa Moloney. It turned out that the restaurant is a family business: Her husband, Michel luliano, is an Italian Chef, and the artist behind the recipes. The wife is the businesswoman, and the mind behind the business. The power-couple has many other restaurants around New York: Luzzo’s La Pizza Napoletana, Ovest Pizzoteca, Da Mikele, Luzzo’s Neapolitan Pizza & Wine Bar, Via Trenta Pizzoteca, Italian Cafeteria & Pizzeria, and the soon-to-open Ampia. Family businesses are an Italian norm, and the authenticity of the restaurant is palpable at Gnoccheria by Luzzo’s.
After our interesting chat, we were ready to go try what we initially came here to taste: the new gnocchi recipes. We start with the Aragosta: classic potato-pasta, with lobster tail and cherry tomatoes, in white wine sauce. The lightness of the ingredients compliments the consistency of the potato-pasta. It is rich in flavor and simple at the same time. Then, we tried the Truffle, which is made of purple potato gnocchi in heavy cream, with speck, parmesan, and shaved black truffle. This one is definitely heavier than the first choice, but the creaminess of the sauce is heavenly. Both of the dishes are generous, maybe a little too generous for just two persons. But the restaurant is living by the Italian saying: “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”. And more gnocchi, is never bad!
When in New York and craving big quantities of fresh, hand-made Gnocchi, Gnoccheria by Luzzo is definitely the go-to-place. There, you’ll have the authentic, Italian, potato-pasta experience. And in case you were still wondering how to pronounce one of the most mispronounced food words when: it’s “Nyo-key”.