My second meal at Centro Vinoteca was not up to the level of my first (rubbery truffled deviled eggs), though it was still pretty good (the place is deafeningly loud, on both levels). Accademia di Vino's menu was much too big, though the grilled pizza was tasty (though I think I saw a stack of pre-made pizza crusts in the kitchen), the Parmesan-prosciutto fritters rocked, and the pork porterhouse was delicious.
But after reading Platt's reviews, I feel like he missed a couple of things about Centro Vinoteca, though his description of the loungy scene and feel there is spot on.
The piccolini (little plates) are almost uniformly sensational, and how Platt didn't have or talk about the oxtail starter I'll never know. Also, the pork chop with fennel pollen is crazy good. Platt writes very well, and more often than not I agree with him, but sometimes he takes the curmudgeonly critic thing a little too far. As a result the pleasure he derives from a restaurant often gets left out of his reviews.
Address: 74 Seventh Avenue South (at Bleecker Street)
Accademia di Vino
Address: 1081 Third Avenue (at 64th Street)
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