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Antipasti, Primi, Secondi, Dolci; the true calling card of an authentic Italian menu! That's a quadruple check and perhaps even a dopo cena digestif at Rezdôra, the Emilia-Romania and homemade pasta representative for Manhattan's Flatiron District. Translating to "head of the household" in Modenese dialect, Chef Stefano Secchi was inspired by the Northern Italian region while spending summers in Italy as a child. Stefano would later take a three year culinary viaggio in 2013 where he truly connected with the culture and cuisine; "probably the most influential time of my life." This led to the opportunity of working in multiple renowned restaurants with acclaimed Chefs in Modena, including none other than Best Restaurant in the World Chef, Massimo Bottura, before opening his Osteria in New York City in 2019.
You've perhaps heard of Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and Balsamico? All delicacies of the Emilia-Romagna region, including the lesser known pasta al' uovo, pasta made using eggs instead of wheat flour, like many Southern regions. After growing up and learning to cook in an environment where only the highest quality ingredients are expected and paramount for exceptional cuisine, Chef was determined to bring these same standards stateside. When the restaurant first opened it took Stefano six months to find a farm producing eggs with a dark yellow yolk, representative of the chicken's higher nutrient diet. Despite the supplemental cost, Chef says that it's well worth it to be able to prepare the same pasta he remembers and enjoyed growing up - and the critics & guests agree! It's this attention to detail that led Rezdôra to a 3 Star review from the New York Times and earning One Michelin Star, almost one year to the day after opening.
Like everything New York City, this subterranean venue is quite unique and no doubt has a story of its own. Located in the basement of a traditional New York townhouse, the restaurant is simply appointed exposing original brick walls, simple furniture and wood on the walls & ceilings to compliment the floors. As you walk towards the back of the long narrow space, the floor plan splits with two small multi level dining decks up stairs on the right, and the kitchen further down stairs, below ground, in what seems to be a second basement on the left. Perhaps once a cold room for the 1925 building, or bomb shelter (speculating for effect)? It's one of the few times I've seen an underground kitchen, but the dishes shine bright with color regardless, particularly in the upper most seating area where a large skylight floods the back of the restaurant with natural light.
Pull up a chair and join me in celebrating the best of what Emilia-Romagna in NYC has to offer with the team at Rezdôra.
Gnocco Fritto - A trio of Puffy Gnocchi topped with Italian Mortadella, Prosciutto and Capocollo
"Grandma walking through forest in Emilia"
Cappelletti Verdi with Roasted Leeks, Baby Leeks & Black Mushroom Purée
Octopus in *modo adriatico - Carciofi in tre modi
*prepared in the Adriatic method - Artichokes three ways
Olive Oil 4 ways
The young Chef, partner David Switzer, and the whole team at Rezdôra have caused quite a stir in the tomato sauce that is Manhattan's Italian dining scene during their short time in business. Stefano attributes their success to wanting to create truly special experiences for their guests and to highlight the region that made all of this possible. For more information on Rezdôra visit www.Rezdora.nyc .
For more of your favorite cuisine - admit it, it's Italian food - have a look at my post exploring Michelin Platted restaurants of NYC, here.