Monday, November 15, 2010
Dining in NoHo
There are so many good restaurants in my NYC neighborhood that I often forget about places just a couple of miles, but a bridge or 10 subway stops away. Five Points has been in NoHo for 11 years, but I hadn’t been back recently.
The restaurant is perfect for carnivores and vegetarians. A wood-fired oven cooks meat and pizzas and the emphasis on local, seasonal vegetables means everyone can eat well.
Salads are a highlight. We tried two: Treviso (radicchio) and escarole, with a lemon0anchovy dressing and shavings of pecorino cheese. It was billed as coming with a soft cooked egg, and I imagined a runny yolk melting over the greens, but the egg was hard boiled. No matter, it was still tasty, and there was no risk of salmonella.
The other salad, chanterelle mushrooms with squash, polenta and mascarpone was finished in that oven and came bubbling to the table. It could easily be an entrée with a salad.
But then you would miss the pasta. Whole wheat cavatelli comes with roasted Brussels sprouts, squash, and pistachios and spaghetti is garlicky and larded with clams.
The only disappointment was the pizza with potatoes, fontina cheese and white truffle oil. Sometimes I order a dish that is supposed to come with bacon or speck and it is missing a flavor. This dish came as is, but needed another flavor – sundried tomatoes? Olives? Something to balance the richness of the cheese.
Five Points has a couple of seafood dishes and steak, all cooked in the wood oven.