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Extra Virgin, NYC


Extra Virgin

Chef: Joey Fortunato
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Neighborhood: West Village
Price: $30-40 per person
Phone: 212-691-9359
Address: 259 W. 4th St., NYC 10014

A local favorite for several years now, Extra Virgin is a quaint West Village restaurant aptly named for the prime ingredient of Joey’s superb Mediterranean fare.  The restaurant offers different varieties of olive oil from all over the world every night (we tried a chili pepper infused olive oil that had a nice spicy kick to it).  The restaurant has a cozy, but vibrant ambiance that is perfect for that first dinner date — from the funky wall decor to the delicate plum blossoms adorning the bar area, and from the rustic wooden tables to the dim candlelight to help set the mood (or make your date more attractive).

There is a two-room dining space is intimate without being too packed, and there is even enough space to have a lively bar scene as well.  I would love to return on a warmer day when I can engage in a little al fresco dining.  The service was affable and the prices are more than reasonable.  The quality of food is excellent here; everything was so fresh and bursting with succulent and zesty Mediterranean flavors.  Joey reinvents classic Mediterranean fare by stuffing a whole roasted branzino with chorizo and crawfish and cooking chicken with a mushroom crust… and the results are absolutely scrumptious!

We stuck with all fish entrees when we came here which were fantastic, but I am eager to try some of other dishes such as the Lamb Three Ways (cinnamon braised shank, pomegranate glazed chops, merquez kabob) and the Mushroom Crusted Chicken with sweat pea risotto (Natalya raved about it from her last visit).  I also hear the brunch is fantastic here— with the added bonus that the majority of entrees are all under $15.  Yes, this restaurant is really located in West Village and I promise you it’s not next to a $1 shot college bar.

COCKTAILS

Gin Cooler: fresh mint, cucumber, lime juice, gin topped with champagne
I love the bubbly; however, I needed something stronger and switched to the Extra Virgin afterward

Extra Virgin: white cranberry, citron vodka, triple sec, cherry, lemon twist
Very nice and strong without being too sweet

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

If nothing else, at least make sure your olive oil is extra virginal.  The restaurant pours different extra virgin olive oils from all over the world every night.  We had a couple choices and we chose a chili pepper infused one that was intense in flavor and aroma.  The bottle evens says so.

APPETIZERS

Roasted Artichoke Parmesan: poached egg, pancetta, hollandaise
Poached eggs are the best kind of eggs!  Super savory and fantastic with the roasted artichoke and sharp parmesan shavings


Warm Asparagus and Mushroom Salad: sweet corn, truffle vinaigrette, parmesan tulle
Interesting and very healthy combination!


THURSDAY CLASSICS

Whole Roasted Branzino: crawfish and chorizo stuffing, sautéed spinach, romesco sauce, toasted almonds
Ok I know I always say it but nothing beats Bohemian’s branzino… however, this was a very unique take on this flaky white fish as it was infused with crawfish and chorizo flavors.  I quite enjoyed this inventive dish!


ENTRÉES

Lemon Crusted Chilean Seabass: fennel potato puree, crispy artichokes, salsa verde, avocado puree
This fish will literally melt in your mouth… the lemon crust provides a nice little zing to the smooth, velvety fish.  The potato puree and crispy artichokes complement the dish quite nicely, along with fresh zesty Latin flavors to round it off.


SIDES

Truffle Mac and Cheese Tart
This dish is so addicting… creamy truffle mac and cheese in a phyllo puff pastry… it’s worth the cholesterol

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Apples and Pancetta
I love roasted brussel sprouts and this was a unique flavor combination although I think I preferred it without the apples


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