A Voce Columbus
10 Columbus Circle near Broadway, 3rd Floor, Upper West Side, (212) 823-2523
Getting There: 1, A, B, C, D to 59th Street- Columbus Circle
Restaurant Review: A Voce Columbus
The Time Warner Center towering over Columbus Circle is no stranger to Manhattan’s elite. From high end retailers to world class restaurants, the collection of vendors inside the Center would rival any upscale mall in the country. But its picturesque views of the bustling urban Circle put the Center in a class by itself. In the vein of living up to that same distinction, A Voce Columbus sits on the 3rd floor of the Center on the building’s east side, with massive window squares overlooking the statue of Christopher Columbus that sits right in the heart of the Circle’s main hub.
The sister restaurant of the original flatiron outpost A Voce (which means “word of mouth”), opens with a long corridor leading to the host stand and an equally lengthy elevated rectangular bar situated next to the dining area. The open space and natural light entering the restaurant are immediately attention grabbing, as high profile suit types are wining and dining their guests nearby. While the dress code suggests a more professional ambiance, the décor is relatively casual- dark brown wooden tables, scarce of tablecloths or placemats, with comfortable seating that more closely resembles an airport lounge than a choice Manhattan eatery. But where the atmosphere is classy and the views are inspiring, it’s the food itself that puts them both to shame.
The menu is chock full of exciting, enticing options; our eyes danced across the page gazing at the duck prosciutto, pork belly, and sweetbreads, all sounding excellent. Admittedly however, our more conservative ordering approach served us well. The “cavatelli” ($23) was a brilliantly prepared pasta dish, not overly sauced with wild boar bolognese, a hint of rosemary, and a flutter of sticky pecorino, while our waiter’s suggestion of “stracciatella” ($14) was equally noteworthy. The dish laid below a lengthy strip of uniquely creamy mozzarella and lardo, surrounded by fava beans, with the sounds of supreme satisfaction via “mmmms” filling the conversational air between each bite. The “funghi al forno” ($15) looked and tasted like three delicious strips of pork, rather than a bed of roasted trumpet royal mushrooms with hazelnuts, but the texture and flavor of each was unlike any we’d ever tasted.
The main courses or “alla griglia e al forno” were similarly delectable, and exceptionally sizable. Typically, we tend to shy away from chicken dishes when dining out, opting for fare that we would avoid preparing at home. Again, our waiter hit it out of the park with his recommendation of the “pollo al mattone” ($25), a heaping portion of fennel and chili marinated brick chicken, with gigante beans and a bevy of Tuscan greens. The dish was among the more flavorful chicken meals in memory, as the chicken skin was literally roasted down atop the breast, allowing the aromatic marinade to flourish throughout the tender poultry. The grilled “trouta alla griglia” ($25) plate was a large filet cooked skin down, under a bevy of bitter greens and a salty, anchovy vinaigrette, served aside a helping of tasty, crispy fingerling potatoes. Rounding out our entrees was a perfectly cooked medium rare “bistecca” ($29), a hanger steak over a sea of creamy polenta and topped with “cipolline mostarda,” which from what we gathered was some zesty caramelized style onions. The bold, dark sauce lingered on the sweeter side, which only served to appropriately flavor the warm, tender cuts of steak cohesively.
Our first experience at A Voce Columbus was thoroughly enjoyable- from the striking street side views of Manhattan to the engaging banter with our friendly server. Each of the courses was especially noteworthy- each dish prepared with unique ingredients and culinary originality, which made all the difference in allowing our meal to stand out. Candidly, when the check was dropped, our meal was pricey although not excessive, but our group’s satisfaction proved that our experience had been well worth it, as our evening at A Voce Columbus would be one that we are certain to reminisce about in perpetuity.