Mario’s Trattoria gets a 1-UP with Vegan Pasta

Mario's Trattoria Rigatoni Pomodoro nyc

Hell’s Kitchen in NYC can be quite literally, a hell for vegans, what with its limited selection of vegan eats. But on a recent outing, I discovered that even hell can have a silver lining… in the form of comforting Italian food.

Ambiance –

Cozy, warm and intimate are three synonyms that sum up this restaurant perfectly.
Cozy, warm and intimate are three synonyms that sum up this restaurant perfectly.

Being half frozen and starving on 9th avenue, I gravitated to Mario’s Trattoria like a moth to flame. It helps that their ambiance is that of a cosy one… like an undiscovered Italian nook, outfitted with a red-brick interior and wooden furniture. Perfect for a casual, intimate and familiar dining experience.

Service –

Right away, we were seated and given plenty of time to peruse the appropriately compact menu —  no six pages-long eyesore here! I told them I was vegan, and the waiter immediately suggested the Rigatoni Pomodori for me, which I ordered, of course! the service in general was friendly, helpful and unhurried, which was refreshing.

Appetizer:

Garlic Knots –

Kinda smallish for $5, wouldn't you say?
Kinda smallish for $5, wouldn’t you say?

I’m always wary of ordering garlic knots, mostly because I hate it when they use garlic powder instead of real, fresh garlic. This time, I asked if they do use real garlic, and yes! They do!

The knots were a bit small for me though… at $5.00 for five pieces ($1 apiece!), I expected some sizable knots. They were just a bit too puny for me. Flavorwise, I have no complaints, the knots kind of satisfied my craving for ’em and plenty of garlic oil was added to grease ’em up a bit.

Entrée –  

Rigatoni Pomodori –

Just goes to show you what fresh ingredients can do for a plate of simple pasta!
Just goes to show you what fresh ingredients can do for a plate of simple pasta!

Me and pasta have always been best of friends, so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed this dish. The rigatoni was cooked perfectly, not too mushy/firm. The tomato sauce tasted fresh and had plenty of tangy tomato chunks scattered throughout. Garlic, olive oil, fresh chopped basil and sautéed spinach elevated the dish to one super-satiating meal. Overall, it definitely hit the spot, though it didn’t blow me away.

Bottom line – If I’m ever out on 9th ave and 37th street again and in need of a bite to eat, I’ll definitely re-visit Mario’s Trattoria again… but I wouldn’t go out of my way to come back.

Dirt Candy leaves a dirty taste in my mouth

It’s always a terrible feeling to leave a restaurant hungry and irritated, but believe it or not, it’s not something I plan for. Restaurants, by my unofficial definition, should leave its patrons feeling at least one of three things (the more of these things, the better): 1) Satiated 2) Accommodated 3) Wanting to visit again […]

Xi’an Famous Foods– My Favorite Cheap, Slightly Dirty Noodle Joint

It’s tough not to succumb to the allure of the hole-in-the-wall: the dank, olfactory-assaulting closet of a low-key gem of a restaurant pretty much dares you to try their food. They almost say to you: “What, are you really that afraid of food poisoning that you aren’t going to try our handmade, tongue-burning, top-yelp rated noodles? Then […]

Thái Son Vietnamese – Fresh, Lean and Green!

I’ve hemmed and hawed before about how hard it is to find actual vegan vietnamese fare in NYC, so I’m very excited to announce I’ve discovered yet another VEGAN VIETNAMESE joint! Yes, caps it totally necessary. Located just a few steps from the Roosevelt train station on Queens, Thái Son is totally worth the trip– it’s cheap, […]

Blossom Du Jour – Pardon My French! (Part I)

So, my love affair with everything from the Blossom folks continues (except with Blossom itself, of course) with my discovery of Blossom Du Jour (Midtown West). I had passed it on many a pizza run to the Two Boots nearby, but never actually went in. I’m so glad I finally made time for it! Me […]

1 3 4 5 6 7 11