In some ways, it's a strange place to have a restaurant of this caliber. Babbo and Bouchon Bakery alumni Chef Michael Toscano's newest endeavor, Manzo, is tucked deep inside Eataly, NYC's Disneyland of Italian food. The walls that divide it from Eataly's tourist mayhem are thin and one has the sense that the mayhem is never far away: You can hear it. Inside, though, the white tablecloths, pretty red walls (the same, deep red shade as its Mario Batali-owned sibling, Otto Inoteca) and fantastic service create a sense of comfortable, graceful hospitality, while warehouse-height ceilings disperse the worst of the outside noise. Whatever your thoughts on the unusual setting, none of that matters once you sit down to eat. The food is good enough to make everything else irrelevant.
Manzo means "beef" in Italian. Not surprisingly, the restaurant's stated specialty is meat "sourced by iconic NY purveyor, Pat LaFrida," according to the website. In light of the record-breaking temperatures, we weren't in a very meaty sort of mood. Happily, Manzo's vegetable, pasta and fish preparations were unquestionably stellar -- just as good as the meat dishes we tried.