Lots of things come in twelves—days of Christmas, drummers drumming, nights (according to Shakespeare), eggs, donuts, and bagels. What would you say to a dozen courses? Such was the case at Patricia’s of Morris Park, where I was obligated—forced even, to endure twelve dishes prepared especially for yours truly—a chef’s tasting if you will.
One by one they came on a cold Wednesday night. Each “taste” prepared by chef Alessandro D’Lessi, the chef de cuisine at the neighborhood hotspot. A native of Naples, the dishes were a salute to his home.
The space—a newly renovated one at that, is the neighbor of the former Patricia’s, a traditional pizzeria. The vast area with candle-lit brick walls and houses tables was perfect for couples and foursomes. A clear view of the bustling kitchen, packed with busy bodies clad in white and a giant stone brick oven stood behind a glass window for diners to see.
It all started with a 2007 San Gregorio di Campagna, a personal favorite of owner Alessandro and his father Calogero, a Sicilian from Palermo. “I find that the San Gregorio compliments a ton of our Neapolitan flavor,” said Alessandro, over the first pour. The bottle was just one of many that Patricia’s houses in it’s notable wine cellar.
And so it unraveled, one more delectable then the next. Chef Alessandro decided on a little bit of this and a little bit of that, blending a slew of savory accents together.
A bittersweet symphony was what became of my twelve plates o’ Patricia’s. By bittersweet I mean, palate challengers from start to finish shiners with tarte bresola, sharp gorgonzola and truffled pear, mellow foie gras, cleansing potato leek-soup, and a slender cut of filet mignon that will leave an impression for days.
As we lingered over the last glass of wine and dessert, owner Alessandro asks a waiter to bring him a large cannoli because a miniature just will not do the trick. When he returns with two, Alessandro cleans the plate in minutes. “I have no limits when it comes to a good cannoli.” Thankfully his dad makes them, as well as a few other desserts for the weekly menu.
There was not a beat missed, not an un-dotted “i” nor an un-crossed “t.” All original plates packed with a distinct flair, a signature if you will. The chef, the restaurant, and the family pride themselves on being fresh (all produce comes from brother Salvatore and his brand Point A produce), being authentic to their handle (Neapolitan flavor with Sicilian flair) , and most definitely being out of the ordinary.
Next time you’re looking for a little luxe and a whole lot of personality, head to the Bronx–you’ll be wowed for sure. Just ask them, they’ll tell you.
Patricia’s of Morris Park, 1080 Morris Park Avenue, NY, 718.409.9069