Though James Beard Award winning chef Barbara Lynch might be most well known for her French-Italian fine dining restaurant No. 9 Park, her minimalist, casual diner, Sportello, is what really wins me over. Aside from having more vegetarian options, the fresh pastas are unfussy, perfectly balanced and yet complex in flavor.
Take for instance, a recently devoured plate of ravioli. Though it seemed like your run-of-the-mill pasta at first, one rich bite told me that there was something more to it than meets the eye. A server later revealed to me that the ricotta in the ravioli was blended with chives and a segment of grapefruit – the latter being an Italian secret. If you’re not a ravioli person, try the gnocchi in mushroom ragout with peas and cream, the smoked potato agnolotti with mushrooms and monte veronese cheese or the polenta with porcini or eggplant. Whatever you order, the ultra-modern lighting and the white, counter seating will get you in the mood to make friends with your neighbors – particularly becoming for singles, out-of-towners or social couples. Though the place is casual, you can expect the same attention to detail and great service you would get at No 9 Park.
348 Congress Street