Ciano was named one of the Top 10 new restaurants in New York City for 2011 by Sam Sifton of The New York Times. I had the opportunity to wine and dine at Ciano’s ‘Sneak Peek’ event when they first opened in October 2010, and recently dined here for lunch.
The menu of Ciano is focused on seasonal ingredients, rather than the specific cuisine of a particular Italian region, so their menu changes often. Offered in addition to an a la carte lunch menu, Ciano has a Lunch Market Menu offering a three course meal for $20.11. Not a bad deal, considering the quality of food you get at this well known restaurant. On the lunch market menu you had a choice of 4 items from the Primi (first course) section, including salads and soups. The second course, Secondi, has set of 4 pasta dishes and sandwiches to choose from. And, finally, there are three Dolce treats.
Off the Lunch Market Menu, I tried the Crespelle and Penne as my savory dishes, and the Panna Cotta as the sweet dish. Crespelle are two savory crepes filled with ricotta spinach, zucchini and swiss chard that are absolutely delicious, and light. The penne was perfectly cooked – al dente with a delicious ragu sauce made with braised veal, proscuitto, and smoked pecorino.
|Crespelle: Savory Crepes filled with Ricotta Spinach, Zucchini and Swiss Chard|
The Panna Cotta was smooth and creamy with wonderful hints of vanilla (and you can see the vanilla in each spoonful). The blueberry compote was a nice touch with each blueberry popping with flavor.
|Panna Cotta with Blueberry Compote|
Though not on the Market Lunch Menu, the Veal Meatballs served with Creamy White Polenta with Herbs and Truffle Pecorino is one of Ciano’s popular dishes. For $18, you get 2 large veal meatballs that, quoting The New York Times, have a “texture of down pillows.” Most people who dine here get this dish, and often recommend it.
Back to the Market Lunch Menu, it’s a great deal for great food…and great combinations.
45 E 22nd St
New York, NY 10010
Tel: (212) 982-8422