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Restaurant Review: Little Park, New York in the USA

Some consider Tribeca to be NYC’s best neighbourhood and Little Park only helps to secure that title. This small eatery is unlike many other Manhattan restaurants in the way that ethos is at its core. Owner and head chef, Andrew Carmellini, takes great care to ensure his restaurant offers top quality, sustainable and seasonal ingredients.

My mother and I tried out the venue for dinner back in December when New York was in between Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities: a period that lends itself to hearty meals and comforting glasses of red. Thankfully Little Park delivered on both fronts.

From the moment we walked in we felt welcome; the waiting staff couldn’t do enough to make us feel at ease. We were seated in the corner and therefore had a great view of the restaurant and, most importantly, for a curious diner like me, a view of what other people were eating! Not only did each dish look delicious, but, most importantly, (judging by my empty plates) tasted delicious too.

The incredible butternut plate                                                                        Image credit: Noah Fecks

Like I’ve mentioned, December is the season for hearty vegetables, and this menu did not disappoint; it was so good to know the food we were eating was not only good for us, but the planet too! For starters, we ordered a portion of brussel sprouts and a separate plate of butternut squash.

The brussels were divine and could convert any brussel sprout hater to a brussel sprout lover! They were perfectly charred in a gorgeous balsamic sauce, served upon a mound of smoked parsnip mash and came topped with a bread crumb.

As delicious as they were, however, I’m not sure I’d order them to start again – in my opinion the generous portion size lends them to being a side (or even a small main!). But please, please don’t let this deter you from ordering them – they were the tastiest sprouts I’ve ever tried.

The squash however made for the perfect starter. Drizzled in a chilli honey and stuffed with burrata, it was heaven on a plate. Gooey inside with a crispy skin, chef Carmellini can clearly put together an A* plate. To contrast with the earthy flavours of the squash and the creamy burrata, the dish was drizzled in a pomegranate dressing, which added a welcome zing!

The chef uses stunning seasonal ingredients                                        Image credit: Noah Fecks

For main course, we tried both the roasted chicken and rainbow trout – and, much like the starters, the portion sizes were generous. The chicken came with a carrot and green peppercorn salsify, boiled carrots and Swiss chard. Disappointingly, the carrots were slightly hard but that’s our only criticism.

Separately, the trout dish was superb; the crispy-skinned fillets were served on wild, fruity rice which had a real depth of flavour. Rice dishes can often be a little dry, but, thanks to the rich saffron and currant reduction, this plate was delicious.

The relaxed dining area                                                                                  Image credit: Daniel Krieger

It’s not only the food that’s hearty and welcoming but the venue too. Little Park feels friendly and inviting; the colour scheme is warm and earthy with vanilla booths, pine tables and low-glow lighting. It’s also, in my opinion, the perfect size. The restaurant seats 85 and therefore is intimate and personable. Having said that, there’s also a separate bar area if you fancy somewhere buzzier.

Speaking of drinks, both the wine, spirit and cocktail lists are impressive, but, on this occasion, we both went for a glass of the Cabernet Sauvignon which was smooth and incredibly moreish!

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Little Park. We arrived craving hearty dishes and left feeling more than satisfied. For plentiful plates of locally-sourced, seasonal food in homely surroundings, Little Park is the place to dine.

Address: 85 W Broadway, New York, NY 10007, USA
Phone: +1 212-220-4110

Main image credit: Daniel Krieger