What is Italian Dim Sum? Raviolo Opens with Carbonara + Cacio e Pepe Small Bites

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Remember “fusion cuisine”? When you couldn’t swing a bánh bao tagine without hitting a Viet-Moroccan hotspot…around 2003 or so? But then “authenticity” and “locabore” came along and ruined all that groovy internationalist fun.

The West Village’s hip new Raviolo doesn’t quite rise to the pretensions of those heady post-Millennium days. But dashing and dapper chef Paolo Meregalli (of MePa’s Mulino a Vino) has cleverly reimagined the Italian dining experience by giving it a groovy “dim sum” presentation. This means offering classics like carbonara, cacio e pepe and vitello tonnato in one- or two-bite pieces – and bringing together two unshakeable dining trends.

 

 

Italians can admittedly be stubbornly (yet charmingly) attached to tradition; but here, rather than going “experimental,” the trad is given a playful reinvention. To wit, there are fun pasta combos, like pesto di mare, and ameritriciana carbonara, as well as some surprising “small bite” raviolis – including the Polpo (octopus) alla Luciana and Risotto Scamorza Prosecco.

No surprise, it’ll pretty much be a party here every evening. The drinks program includes a dedicated Bubbles Bar ($10 prosecco + $7 refills!) and a Gin & Tonic Bar, which features fruit infusion “pairings.” But do try the Raviolo Italian Mary, an elaborate, three-tiered take on the classic.

Expect brunch, with its eggs sorrentina and goat fish panini (as well as the cool, convivial atmosphere), to be a genuine scene this fall.