Jul
25th
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Vigneti

Vigneti is an odd restaurant in an odd location. It’s *tucked into a corner of the new Library Hotel, on a block not far from the New York Public Library that becomes very quiet after the workday ends. Perhaps the unnatural hush made Vigneti’s owners want to *crank up the volume on the sound system, transforming what seems, from the outside, to be a charming trattoria, with rustic wooden tables and tall-backed chairs, into a *throbbing, party-hearty singles bar. Vigneti is the Italian word far vineyards. It’s a *tip-off that the 200-bottle wine list here is a focal point. Italy dominates, of course.
There are lots of Barolos, Barbarescos, Chiantis, Brunellos, Amarones and super Tuscans, but also a surprisingly large number of wines from France, California and Australia at prices that do not hurt. A more tranquil atmosphere would help.
The bar scene can be hectic, and the narrow passage between the bar and many of the tables ensures that diners get *slammed a minimum of 20 times, either by waiters or other diners heading to the restrooms, before the meal is done. This is a pity, because the food is good. The old standards like fritto misto, caprese salad and cacciucco, the famous Ligurian fish stew, are treated respectfully. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen spaghetti carbonara on a menu, but Vigneti offers it without embarrassment.
And why not? It’s hard to resist the combination of sweet cream, pancetta and Parmesan in the *dead of winter.
If the appetizers seem a little *perfunctory, the pastas deserve dose attention, especially cavatelli with hot and sweet sausage tossed with San Marzano tomatoes, ricotta-stuffed ravioli in a rosema ry-accented white wine sauce, and penne with rock shrimp, pumpkin,

  • scallions and tomato.

Vocabulary

to be tucked into: to be pushed or folded into a small confined space or concealed place
to crank up the volume: to increase the volume
tip-off: a warning or hint, especially given confidentially and based on inside information slammed: struck with violent force
dead: a period during which coldness, darkness or some other quality associated with death is at its most intense
perfunctory: done superficially, only as a matter of routine; careless or cursory scallion: any of various onions or similar plants, such as the spring onion, that have a smaIl bulb and long leaves and are eaten in salads
throbbing: pulsating or beating repeatedly

QUESTIONS

1.Where is the restaurant called Vigneti?
a) in Los Angeles
b) in New York
c) in San Francisco

2. How does Vigneti look like from the outside?

a) it looks like a traditional English pub
b) it looks like an old, shabby inn
e) ìt looks like a charrning trattoria

“Vigneti” is the ltalian word for:
a) vineyards
b) restaurants
c) wines

ANSWERS
1b- 2c-3a

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