The debrief: Just call her the Skin Whisperer – everyone else
Gemma East VillageEast Village Gem-ma
The place: Gemma at Bowery Hotel
The setting: There’s enough of a gothic ambiance in the wrought-iron light fixtures, brass railings, wax stalactites, and thick wood trusses at Gemma to half-expect the Spanish Inquisition to take your order. However, apart from the chandeliers, which come from a church in southern France, the décor offers more effect than authenticity. But it’s homey enough for the crowds of hipster Europeans (staying in the adjacent Bowery Hotel) to fill up the simple wood tables, especially near the double French windows at the front.
The ingredients: Chef Chris D’Amico is as passionate about sourcing locally as we are about eating it. The chicken is from Amish farms in Pennsylvania, rainbow Swiss chard from Long Island, herbs from Massachusetts, and mozzarella produced right here in the city.
The special: Start with the burrata caprese and follow with melanzane al forno – roasted eggplant with ricotta di bufala, parmigiano, and tomato sauce.
The wink: Make friends with guests in the adjacent Bowery Hotel, and you’ll be able to reserve tables. Otherwise, it’s first come, first serve.
(Photo: courtesy of Bowery Hotel)