Monday, December 13, 2010

Giving thanks for gnocchi

I require nought turkey or stuffing, but indeed prefer the gnocchi - do this and thy life is spare.

With my entree to law school four years ago, my family started dining out for most big holidays, religious or otherwise. For Passover, we have gone to JoeDoe for their progressive Seder. Come Thanksgiving, we went to Quality Meats until a really disappointing meal (both in food and service) last year.
I searched the internet for a new Thanksgiving home and presented options. My favored choice was Colicchio & Sons, but was shot down.  Instead, we went to Jane, which is not, as I had suspected, located on Jane Street. Nor is the restaurant owned by anyone named Jane (Glenn and Jeffrey are the owners' first names).  So deceptive.

The dinner was very good, the portions oversize to the point where our desserts were left mostly uneaten, a rarity in my family. Mostly to blame was the first course - ricotta gnocchi in a truffle cream sauce.  It was really, really good.  That much I knew right away.  Then, I went to the Colicchio & Sons Tap Room last week and ordered their gnocchi.  The Tap Room gnocchi was so weak, it made me appreciate Jane's dish that much more.

Granted, one was a ricotta gnocchi and the other a potato gnocchi.  But I don't care. Gnocchi should be dense, smooth, and flavorful, yet not overpowering the accompanying sauce. Jane accomplishes this hands down; the gnocchi is toasted, just the right amount of truffle in a nice cream sauce. The Tap room falls short; the gnocchi is light and feathery, almost disintegrating in an oily pool of soffritto that has no business being in the dish.

Although it is listed as a starter, my recommendation would be to order the toasted ricotta gnocchi and a salad, and call it a meal. So, so very good.

Jane, 100 W. Houston Street