The sun is shining. Birds are chirping. People are smiling. Seasonal depression is starting to wear off, and we have almost convinced ourselves that this was just “a really bad winter.” Ahhh, spring-time, you have been missed. Knowing summer is but one major holiday away fills me with a feeling of hope and elation. Spring can only mean one thing for diners… OUTDOOR SEATING. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a good meal accompanied by people watching, and a glass of pino.
The best place to do this? Bar Pitti in the West Village. To know Bar Pitti, is to love it. Here’s why:
Consistency. As we learned on Top Chef: All Stars this week, it takes a good chef to make a good dish, and a great chef to make it twice. For the last four years, Bar Pitti has been my weeknight or Sunday go-to spot. Without fail, my Rigatoni Pitti will be cooked to perfection, giving me that Pavlovian response to the pink sauce I have come to crave. I will enjoy eggplant rollatini, veal meatballs, a burrata, linguini with clams, and finish with a tartufo.
Some of these items are on the actual menu, some are “specials,” but the specials never deviate far from a select few. And that is just how I like it. I like to go on the early side because when the special items run out, with a swipe of his hand the waiter smears the item off the chalkboard, and I am left feeling like I got the wrong answer in Algebra class. At Bar Pitti, the dishes are very personal, and while I salivate over the Rigatoni Pitti, the veal milanese may speak to you and keep you coming back for more. It is for this reason, Bar Pitti is considered a food group in my diet.
Let me not lead you astray. This is not a restaurant where the wait staff or Maitre d’ aims to please. There is nothing charming about them. In fact, they are a little bit rude. The line is long in the summer, VIP often get to cut in front of you, and it is always a fight when your whole party isn’t there and it is time to sit. But, after a few loyal visits, they start to soften up. And, now I even get an Italian air-kiss from my favorite waiter.
I also love that there is a 50% chance I will see a celebrity whenever I go to Bar Pitti. I have run into Scott Caan (from Ocean’s 11 and Entourage), Julianne Moore (twice), Matt Dillon, and apparently Jay-Z is a regular. It is the type of place where no one bothers them because they are just grabbing a bite at their favorite local spot with family and friends. Don’t get me wrong, if it were Abe & Arthurs I would totally ask for a pic, but at Bar Pitti it just feels wrong.
Spring ahead my fellow diners, and enjoy the beautiful weather from the patio seating at Bar Pitti. Oh, and cash only.
268 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY