All’Onda offers fantastic pasta dishes, and other Italian specialties—with a touch of Japanese style. What you say? Read on to see the unusual dinner we had at this modern spot in the East Village, NYC.
Who to Take: The adventurous pasta lover or your fierce-some foursome
[THIS PLACE HAS CLOSED SINCE THIS REVIEW, BUT THE CHEF SHARED HIS OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD RECIPE FOR ARANCINI. SEE THE POST ON HOBNOB] I had heard that Chef Chris Jaeckle and restauranteur Chris Cannon, formerly part of the Michael White’s restaurant empire, had teamed up to open All’Onda with the intention of marrying Italian cuisine with a touch of Japanese style. They’ve totally succeeded with a space that has a rustic minimalism with roomy wood tables, and a very relaxed vibe. Our focus on our dinner that night was on pasta—and we ended up impressed—and wonderfully surprised—by the offerings. The dishes featured a mixing of unusual flavors, like the Stracciatella with seasonal plums, and the deeply delicious Chicken Liver spread accompanied by pickled cherries and hazelnuts. Bonus: The sommelier made a fantastic wine suggestion, involving a grape I had never heard of—our first taste of a ruché grape, from the Piedmont area of Italy.
The space has nice high ceilings and generous table size. Because we were 4, we got to sit at a large round table by the window. Our meal started off healthy, with rustic carrots accompanied by ricotta, ginger vinaigrette, cumin. Then we went decadent with: a Stracciatella cheese accompanied by market plums, salsa verde and grilled sourdough; the Chicken Liver spread, topped with pickled cherries and hazelnuts, one of the crostini appetizers. The flavor of the chicken liver was off the charts. Still thinking about it; Clams Casino with pancetta, panko, and parsley came plated in a rustic fashion.
Our first taste of a ruché (pronounced: roo-KAY) grape, from the Piedmont area of Italy. Montalbera Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato Laccento was a total hit—a light red, with a silky texture and lively complexity. It paired perfectly with all the pastas and small dishes. It was worth having my teeth dyed a purplish hue for the evening!
The pastas: Ro ordered the Cavatelli (which she pronounced GAVA-DEEL) with ricotta, spicy tomato, basil. It was a safe choice, next time she promises to try one of the more adventurous pastas. Also, Risotto Astice with lobster, saffron, fennel and the special of the day, Risotto with Truffles.
But the dish that got the most applause from our table: Lumache with aged duck ragu, treviso, chocolate. Memorable.
ALL’ONDA, 22 e 13th street (btw 5th/University), note: the restaurant is not wheelchair accessible and most tables are located on the 2nd floor.