“Top Chef” Dale Talde along with partners David Massoni and John Bush, also known as The Three Kings, made their Manhattan debut with Massoni. Chef Talde has many ventures around the city and Miami but Massoni is the first venture into Manhattan. The restaurant is a chic blend of Chef Talde’s Brooklyn roots combined with the sex appeal of his Miami hot spot Talde. The setting for Massoni is New York City’s newest chic micro hotel, Arlo NoMad. Chef Talde is serving “inauthentic” Italian cuisine intermingled with his signature Asian flair.
Upon entering the hotel you get a taste of Chef Talde at the Bodega in the lobby. The Bodega is set up to grab and go coffee, pizza, sandwiches and pastries, which is a welcome addition for the neighborhood locals. In addition to Massoni and Bodega, The Three Kings have taken over all the food and beverage services for the hotel guests and to the bar and lounge on the second floor, BARlo. They will also be expanding to the rooftop with The Heights, a cocktail bar opening just in time for the warm weather in the Spring of 2017.
The Arlo Hotel lobby is minimalist and crisp with white walls and a relaxed inviting atmosphere. The hotel rooms offer floor to ceiling glass windows with views that are jaw dropping. Massoni is set further back in the lobby of the hotel. Before entering the dining area there is a fun vibrant bar scene. The bar/lounge has a hip industrial vibe with vintage influences. The walls have exposed brick and are plastered with graffiti and vintage posters. The main dining room is stunning, casual yet chic with a pop art wall mural that takes center stage.
The cuisine is “inauthentic” Italian with Asian influences. The menu is carb heavy with a focus on Italian comfort foods with the menu offering a large selection of pastas and pizzas. The square deep dish pizzas at Massoni are the best I have tasted in the city, reminiscent of Detroit-style pizzas.
Definitely try the classic pizzas on the menu(cheese pie and mushroom pie), but also be sure to ask for the lobster pizza special. The lobster pie has a generous serving of fresh lobster on top of a perfectly crisped crust with marinara and a mildly spiced sriracha aioli. Our server hinted that the lobster pie might be a regular on the menu. The salads are bountiful and a perfect complement to the pastas and pizzas. The squid ink pappardelle with crab and vodka sauce is full of flavor and especially exciting if you are a crab lover. My favorite was the spicy biriyani rice balls, a nice spicy Indian twist to traditional Italian arancini balls. The desserts are delicious and there is nothing more “authentic” on the menu than the trio of Italian style cannolis with a snickers filling. Also be sure to have the apple tart with caramel, a pure all round good old American classic.
The cocktails are inspiring, creative and fun. The drinks are a homage to NYC, as the names get their inspiration from subway lines throughout the city’s boroughs, like Far Rockaway, Forest Hills and Flatbush. The wine list is short with a focus on Italian wines. The list is precisely curated and is concise and on the mark, eliminating the stress of ordering wines.
With Top Chef Dale Talde at the helm, there is no competition, Massoni is the new chic, trendy restaurant in NoMad. Massoni is a fun place for any occasion. The pizzas are the best in the city. So check out Dale Talde’s new “Italianish” hot spot.