Food & Drink

BITE OF THE MOMENT: Machiavelli

by Lea Faminiano

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[all photos by Conor Rose]

Just by looking at it, you can tell Machiavelli is not like any of the hip, swanky new spots popping up every day, all over the city. The place is unabashedly ornate, though still beautiful, with floor-to-ceiling murals and fancy cushioned chairs. The dish titles seem as elaborate as their surroundings, but upon further investigation, the trattoria’s menu is filled with dishes that are both comforting and classically Northern Italian.

To start, we chose a salad composed with baby kale, red onion, green apple, crispy Italian bacon, and apple vinaigrette dressing – a crisp, varied composition of textures and flavors, and a generous portion for two-person appetizer.

When ordering out, I try to steer clear of anything I could easily make at home, with pasta falling very much into that category – but there were so many intriguing choices, plus sometimes, you just want someone else to make you your pasta. After heavy deliberation, we settled on Pappardelle alle Erbe con Funghi (swapping the pappardelle with gluten-free spaghetti for me) with wild mushrooms, cream, and parmesan. This dish was the equivalent of a hug – it was the bowl of comfort I had been craving so much, I wanted to wrap myself up in the coziness of the cheesy, creamy pasta.

Casunzei “Ampezzani” looked like your typical pretty plate of ravioli, yet the half-moon pasta surprised us. Filled with a stunningly bright red beet and ricotta filling, topped with a butter and poppy seed sauce, the dish was pleasantly peppery and cheesy, with a hint of sweetness.

One plate of ravioli apparently wasn’t enough for us, as we also feasted on a seasonal special – an almost too kitschy, but honestly really adorable heart-shaped Valentine’s-themed ravioli, delicately stuffed with sharp gorgonzola and pear.

If the food itself wasn’t enough of a perk, there’s live music every day. If we had the luxury (and more room in our stomachs) to linger, we could have stayed all night. Try it for yourself – Machiavelli is located at 519 Columbus Avenue in Manhattan and is open every day for lunch and dinner (plus on the weekends for brunch!).

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For more photos, click here. This meal was provided by Machiavelli, a restaurant we love. All opinions are our own!