03 August 2010

a dinner at Industria Argentina

From Stefano Villa, owner of Azul and Novecento, comes Tribeca's Industria Argentina. The cuisine is Ital-Argentinean and the interior is by, well, read for yourself from a note sent to Daily Candy:

...the Industry Argentine people (greenwich at duane) built this restaurant on the total sly. i live on the block and i'd always see the workers sneaking in and out through a roll-up door. no permits were ever posted and then one day it was open!

is this common? it certainly was not above-board.

The things people do to open a restaurant in this town.

We stumbled in after wandering out of the Financial District in search of dinner- something new, something to suit the cooling August air. We initially passed Industria, then snaked back as it seemed the warmest and most appetizing. With twig fringed art, massive tapestries and giant cream colored lanterns, the dining room is a mix of rustic comfort and stylish Manhattan. We ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and nibbled warm house made bread with pesto infused butter- while putting together our menu.

Rather than opt for the hefty three-course restaurant week offering, we decided to share three small plates:

We felt it only appropriate to try the Empanadas Salentes. Flaky and baked, we selected the hand cut beef and chicken with potatoes. Both were tasty, but the beef stole the show with the moist texture and gorgeous mix of south American herbs. For our next plate, we requested the spicy chorizo. As we cut inside, a bright red interior exposed itself. Absolutely spot on in flavor and texture, it fell apart and melted in my mouth. To boot, the chimichurri sauce spoke to the regional cuisine's specialty. Served with dressed greens, the dish is well-balanced. For our third dish, we leaned over a massive bowl of Mejillones Provenzal: mussels steamed in white wine and garlic. I found the seafood to be a bit fishy, but that could be attributed to the region- as they were from Prince Edward Island. The three dishes were more food than we could possibly consume, but the servers didn't bat an eye as we took over two hours to nibble in the empty dining room.

Given the quality, graciousness of the servers and gorgeous dining room, it difficult to say why the venue wasn't packed. Perhaps Mondays aren't as attractive to diners in this neighborhood. It certainly seems targeted to locals, rather than those seeking a destination-dining experience.

Image: NY Eater

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