White and Church, NYC

White and Church
Executive Chef: Matteo Boglioni
Cuisine: Italian
Neighborhood: Tribeca
Price: Appetizers sub $15, entrées sub $20
Address: 281 Church Street, NY, NY 10013
Phone: 212-226-1607
Hours: Daily 5-11pm

White and Church is Matteo Boglione’s and  Gian Perugini’s reincarnation of Il Matto, the Tribeca restaurant that occupied the same spot. They closed Il Matto (which incidentally means “the madman”) last April and returned with a more cozy, tamed interior and a menu that serves Italian  fare with a modern twist.

I’ve been to Il Matto once when it was open, and loved the food. The interior was admittedly quirky, the “tablecloth” was linoleum-esque for example, but the food held its own, which is why I eagerly wanted to try White and Church. My friends and I ate in one of the raised lounges and shared several dishes tapas-style. We could have also sat at the bar or in the dining room, but opted for comfy couch seating.

The menu is quite expansive, with more traditional Italian dishes like carbonara pasta and eggplant parmigiana, and more eclectic and American fare such as the mac and cheese stuffed burger (which, by the way, is divine). The pecorino cheese crème brûlée was an unexpectedly successful fusion of the Italian cheese prepared in the form of a typically sweet dessert dish. The zucchini blossoms also stood out to me — I love their delicate texture and subtle sweetness.

The most eclectic part of the menu is the cocktail list. It features classic martinis, etc as well as some interesting creations courtesy of Christina Bini, Boglioni’s wife. The smoked martini is garnished with smoked salmon. Another cocktail has anchovies. For the really adventurous, there is an entire subsection of cocktails that have insects — bees, Mexican worms, grasshoppers and the like. I didn’t try any this time, but I definitely will in the future. Hey, it’s just more protein, right?

Bread and Oil

Zucchini Blossoms – rock salt, tomato sauce
Love the texture and flavor of zucchini blossoms. I’ve even made Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms at  home before, albeit less successfully.

Artichoke Croquettes – saffron sauce, burrata cheese, black truffle shavings
This was an interesting combination of flavors, but a bit much given that truffle, saffron, etc are all strong

Pecorino Cheese Crème Brûlée – red onion marmalade, balsamic reduction
Amazing – the red onion marmalade and balsamic reduction with the creamy pecorino was oh-so-good

Octopus and Foie Gras – roasted potatoes, basil pesto, caramelized black olives
Love octopus usually and this was good, but not my favorite

Burrata Cheese Ravioli – black truffle sauce

White and Church Burger – 8oz beef burger stuffed with macaroni & cheese, vine tomatoes, beef jus
Another must-try at White and Church. Obviously this is not the healthiest dish, but it’s just so juicy and savory

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