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Plenty of Good Food at Po

July 19, 2010

For my first go-round with Restaurant Week Summer 2010, Keith and I picked Po, a teeny-tiny former Mario Batali restaurant in the West Village. Our reservations were for 11 p.m. on Friday, which is usually my bedtime, but the menu looked so good that I decided it was well worth the wait.

Verdict? There was plenty of good food to go around. The white bean bruschetta was delicious, a light and refreshing start to our meal. For the Antipasti, Keith ordered the white bean ravioli with a delicious balsamic brown butter sauce, while I got the spinach tagliatelle with ragu Bolognese. It was a nice contrast of sweet tomato, spicy red chili and rich meaty-ness. Perhaps I should have gone with a salad though – there was much more pasta than I could handle for a starter course.

For the Secondi course, I tried the Guinea Hen with roasted corn. The hen’s salty, crispy skin contrasted nicely with the sweet corn, which was my favorite part of the dish. Keith’s skirt steak with green beans, roasted peppers and Gorgonzola butter was a little on the rare side of medium rare for me, but the piece I did have was pretty good. I was tuckered out by the time dessert came around, and poor Keith, who had been looking forward to ricotta cheesecake with Vermont maple sauce, was disappointed to hear that the kitchen was out of it. Instead, he ordered the panna cotta with amarena cherries, while I got the chocolate terrine with espresso caramel sauce. Keith’s panna cotta was light and airy, though the cherries tasted slightly like Robitussin. My chocolate was too much for me (did you ever think I’d say “too much chocolate”? Neither did I).

My favorite part of dinner was the restaurant itself. Po is a small space, with a little more than a dozen tables. The whitewashed wood-panel walls and mirrors make the room seem less claustrophobic, and there is more room between the tables than many NYC restaurants I’ve been to. Add candles and you’ve got a very cute, very romantic dining room.

Lesson for my next restaurant week dinner: don’t order pasta and expect to eat much after that, and don’t try to eat past 10 p.m.

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