Jeremy in front of i Trulli
Have you ever been to Puglia, (no?), well you should because the food is out of this world. On my trip to NYC we ate at i Trulli, a restaurant that serve’s the food of Southern Italy, the Puglia region to be exact. The owner, wine expert, and restaurateur, Nicola Marzovilla, opened i Trulli to show that Puglian food is both simple and delicious, but he can’t do it without the help of his mother Dora (who makes the pasta 5 days a week) and Executive Chef Patti Jackson.
I got the chance to talk with Chef Patti while she was in the kitchen, which is run out of their really big basement (like many restaurants in NYC). Patti is also a trained pastry chef and so she helps oversee the pastry department. She worked in various Italian restaurants and made her way to i Trulli, where she now carries out Nicola’s vision for the restaurant.
Jeremy and i Trulli Executive Chef Patti Jackson
What really struck me as interesting was that Nicola has really strong feelings about no kid menus! There was a whole article written in the New York Times about it.(Click here to read the NY Times Article) He feels that at a very early age kids should be taken off the kiddy menu and introduced to new and interesting things. Nicola practices this philosophy at his restaurant where you won’t find a kids menu (which is a great idea). Even so, i Trulli is very kid friendly, on Sundays, kids 14 and under eat at half price, and bringing the family is strongly encouraged, and all of their pasta dishes are offered in appetizer portions which is perfect for young kids.
Jeremy and iTrulli owner Nicola Marzovilla
The menu features everything from pastas, meats, seafood etc… so there’s something for everyone. This brings me to dinner, which consisted of 9 courses (no cab ride for us after dinner…we’ll walk instead). Nicola sat down with me, my dad, our friend Eric and began to order what seemed like everything on the menu. For antipasti or appetizer’s we had Panzerotti (baby calzones), Panelle, which are chickpea fritters with goat cheese and a Sicilian Caponata (eggplant). May I add that the goat cheese made my night! Next we had Bufala, which is imported Bufala Milk Mozzarella with tomatoes and pesto, which was simple and delicious. We also had Calamari that is quickly sautéed with garlic and olives making it a lot tastier and healthier compared to fried Calamari! However, I can’t forget the Pulp or grilled octopus. It was tender and juicy, right up to the last tentacle! The pasta course came next which was a pleasure to have since all the pastas are handmade by Nicola’s mother Dora. We had Orecchiette or ear shaped pasta, which is mixed in a rabbit ragu (the best rabbit ragu you will ever have). Up next was Mafaldine with fresh sardines, golden raisins, fennel and bread crumbs. Unfortunately we finished…but then came dessert. They brought one of everything, gelato, sorbet, biscotti, and even blueberry pie! The food and atmosphere of i Trulli definitely carries Nicola’s vision of simple. The food is made with only a few ingredient’s, which in return makes everything unique and keeps you wanting more. I thanked Nicola and Chef Patti for a memorable meal and I told them that I would definitely be back. Maybe I’ll even fly to Puglia and then I could have all the octopus and rabbit ragu I want…but that’s another blog.
Keep on Cooking!
Visit i Trulli online at:
122 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016