Il Valentino Osteria Review - From Brick Oven Pizza to a Romantic Dinner

Il Valentino Osteria is a lovely upper East Side location  at 1078 First Ave.  The atmosphere and diverse menu ranges from a brick oven pizza to braised lamb and beyond.  All ingredients are fresh and served in a timely manner.

Il Valentino Osteria - Photo courtesy of Il Valentino Osteria

We were welcomed by Vittorio, a lovely and welcoming manager who, from the moment he sat us down until the very last moment we left, couldn't have been more attentive and professional.  As we sat for dinner, I must say the service by all the staff was attentive but not intrusive.  We were able to have an intimate meal and our glasses were always full.

Photo Courtesy of Il Valentino Osteria

We began our meal with a salad composed of grilled shrimp, hearts of palm, avocado, mango, cherry tomatoes and a variety of greens.  It was delicious.  We decided to share fried calamari & zucchini served with fragrant spicy tomato sauce and sliced eggplant with fresh mozzarella topping.

Photo Courtesy of Il Valentino Osteria

I try to experience the specialties of the house when I review an establishment, and my husband loves to get what he loves, his duck.  It's something I will never cook at home, so when he can, he orders duck.  And this dish was no exception.   Duck medallions, sweet potato puree, apple gremolata was wonderful.  The duck was tender, not fatty, and it was difficult for him to allow me to taste it as he just couldn't let go. Alas, I did.  It was declicious. 

Duck - Photo by Ellen Eichelbaum

 

I had braised lamb, with Turkish figs, carrots, quinoa, almonds and was topped with a delicate homemade sauce.  The meat fell off the bone without any need for a knife.

Braised lamb with all the trimmings - Photo: Ellen Eichelbaum

As the restaurant got busier and diners waited to eat, we were finishing up and did not feel rushed.  We never got 'the look' you sometimes get when the staff wants you to leave so they may give your table to another diner.

Photo Courtesy of Il Valentino Osteria

If you choose to eat outside, there are intimate tables with and inside and outside feeling.  It's just lovely. We asked Vittorio what he suggested for dessert, although I was finding it difficult to find room to eat another bite.  Somehow, someway, when Vittoria brought us out tiramisu, I managed to take more than a bite.  It was luscious and just melted in my mouth.  Between the two of us, we cleaned up that plate.

Whether you  want a lovely brunch, which has numerous choices, a brick oven pizza, or a romantic dinner for two, Il Valentino Osterio is the restaurant to visit.  It is located at 1078 1st Ave., NYC.

You can find out more information at the Il Valentino Osterio website

 

 

 

 

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