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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

St. George, Staten Island: Enoteca Maria

Last Wednesday I finally was able to dine at a restaurant I had been dying to visit 
for the last seven months when it first became known to me. Unfortunately, they are 
closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, which happens to be every single day we 
remember or suggest going. We knew one day we would make it. Thankfully, we 
remembered on a Wednesday! It also happened to be the day after I started my 
gluten/dairy free month, however, I knew Enoteca Maria would be worth cheating.
Gluten/dairy free could wait another week! Pasta and mozzarella could not! 

Enoteca Maria is a New York Magazine Critic's Pick homemade Italian restaurant 
within walking distance from the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island. The
 chefs are eight Grandmother's from all over Italy. Each evening, a different
 Grandmother has control over the kitchen with their special "Menu of the 
Day." Sadly, I cannot remember which Grandmother was the chef that evening. 

We arrived right on time for our reservation. My first thought when walking 
in the door was how small the place was. It really was intimate and cozy. The 
perfect date night spot! We were seated at one of the middle two tops and 
immediately ordered two glasses of wine.  I was so excited and prepared
 for this dinner, I even had a light lunch so I would be extra hungry for dinner! 
When we received our generous glasses of wine, we ordered our appetizers. 

We selected two appetizers, the first being the Melanzane Ripiene which consists
of Eggplant boats, stuffed with rice, mozzarella, ground beef, peas and ricotta
cheese and bake in a red sauce. This dish was unbelievably delicious. For as heavy
of dish as it sounds, it went down surprisingly fast! The added flavor of the red 
sauce was like the cherry on top. It was out of this world! 

Our second appetizer was the whole stuffed artichoke. Also fantastic! We 
finished off both plates with ease and were very excited for our entrees 
after that start! Our server was wonderful. She sent us out a chickpea salad 
as the entrees were taking longer than expected. Sadly, I was already so full I 
did not risk eating anything else until my entree arrived. 

Shortly after, our main dishes arrived to our table. Our exceptionally wonderful
 server had highly recommended the special pasta as this "Grandma's" specialty 
was pasta. I obliged. The homemade Parpadelle pasta with pancetta and 
parmesan was so wonderful. I was unable to finishthe entire dish so I packed 
it up and brought it home for dinner another evening.

The server also mentioned the veal was also Grandma's specialty. I believe we
were pretty happy with our entree selections.  

Of course I had to save room for dessert and after I saw that Tiramisu
served to another table, there was no question to which one we were
going to have that evening. I was so excited I forgot to snap a photo
when it arrived. I remembered with one bite left. It doesn't show
you much, but what it does show you is how amazing it was! Of course
we did not leave that last little bite. That would have been silly. 

All I can say is next time the parents are in town, Enoteca Maria will be first 
on my list! 

1 comment:

  1. If I ever get to NYC, we will be going! That looks so yummy!