By William Beel
In a town and maybe even a culture that insists the tiramisu is “the best in town,” for my money, the best in New York City is at Polpette 71. Sure they are known for their meatballs, which are excellent, as the names of the restaurant (polpette means meatball in Italian) and its proprietor, Nicky Meatballs, imply. But the tiramisu is hard to pass up even when I’m stuffed with said meatballs and other great dishes. Nailing the right levels of creaminess, sponginess, and cocoa-powder dryness is no easy feat and is probably why so many Italian restaurateurs insist they have perfected this dessert beyond the imaginings of every other wishful-thinking chef in town. But nail it Nicky has.
Formerly known as Bello Giardino by the same owner, Polpette 71 has a beautiful garden, indeed, in the back. While I’m a huge fan of the outdoor seating that has come with COVID, sitting outside in the bello giardino is a welcome refuge from the street and reminder of outdoor dining from a simpler time. It’s a lovely spot in which to dine or simply enjoy an afternoon coffee and tiramisu.
Friendly staff and ownership, a welcoming feel, and terrific food and tiramisu provide another reminder of how good we have it on the Upper West Side.
Polpette71 by Nicky Meatballs
71 West 71st Street (off Columbus)
Featured dish: Tiramisu ($8)
Monday-Sunday, 4 pm-10 pm
A heartfelt thank you to William Beel. You can’t imagine our delight when we received his email, “Hi WSR, answering your call!” And so, Here’s the Dish sees another Wednesday. Follow William’s courageous and civic-minded lead. Send a review of your favorite local dish with a photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s good for your neighbors and the restaurants you love.
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