West 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues has always been something of a curious block. Once a cultural destination of 1960s Dylan-era Greenwich Village and a hard-luck row in the early 2000s, it's now in the midst of a revival, as proven by Greenwich Project.
Owner Nick Boccio (Mulberry Project) has an eye for style that deftly blends classics with new age rustic, and partnering with him is executive chef Carmine Di Giovanni of the now-shuttered Picholine. Giovanni is capable of evoking big flavors, sometimes from unlikely sources, such as the humble yet brilliant cauliflower side ($8), roasted and tossed with pine nuts, raisins and basil. One special was built over a base of braised lentils and finely diced root vegetables so memorable the featured pork shank plated above it was an afterthought.
If you’re craving something hearty, order the Hand Rolled Chestnut Pappardelle ($19), a succulent dish with toothsome eggy pasta ribbons cradling rich chunks of duck confit and coated in a roasted garlic and pecorino butter sauce.
In other cases, Greenwich Project would be wise to consider that less is more. A promising bowl of PEI Mussels ($17) is nearly ruined by the overeager portions of salty lamb sausage that begs the question: Which protein is at the center of the dish?
Greenwich Project projects a certain self-awareness that a great restaurant isn’t born at its opening but rather matures over time as it finds its strengths and identity. Given Giovanni’s talents, it’s not a question of if, but when.
BY: TIME OUT COMMUNITY REVIEWER MICHAEL PEARSON
|Venue name:||Greenwich Project||Contact:|
47 W 8th St
|Cross street:||between MacDougal St and Sixth Ave|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 5pm-12:30am; Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 11am-2am; Sun 11am-11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, M to W 4th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $23. AmEx, Diner's Club, MC, V|
|Do you own this business?|
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