Osteria Morini is one of Michael White’s lesser known restaurants. It’s been around for awhile, and no one mentions it as a place they really want to check out, but it’s surprisingly doing very brisk business, especially during the late hours. We went to dinner on a Sunday night at 9 pm, and the place was packed. Maybe it’s like an industry place? Or young Millennials like to eat late on Sunday? But that’s what the crowd was like–young Millennials drinking late on a Sunday because they didn’t want to deal with the Monday just around the corner. I’m sure the staff was freaking out seeing a couple with two of their children at their doorstep.
Because Osteria Morini is such a low-key place that rarely shows up in the food blog news circuit anymore, I wasn’t expecting much from our meal. We had a Gilt voucher and it seemed like a good buy since Osteria Morini is in the neighborhood. The pastas are actually really good, especially the cappelletti, which is one of the restaurant’s signature pasta dishes. If you’re really into the plump, fleshy pasta, like a good tortellini or gnocchi, then these chubby raviolis stuffed with rich, truffle-laced cheese will be just perfect.
For pasta with a lighter touch, the mafalde is the way to go. Even though the noodles are cooked in a chili butter, the lemon confit gives the dish a bright, fluffy quality. Lilia, the very popular Italian restaurant in Williamsburg, also makes a mafalde pasta, but I think the one at Osteria Morini is better. If you want a basical bolognese, Osteria Morini offers one, but the mafalde and cappelletti are much more interesting.
We also did order some appetizers–a creamy burrata, a refreshing mista salad and a cured meat plate. I thought the mista was a nice counterbalance to all the pastas we were eating later on in the meal, while the burrata and meat plate were pretty standard. The pastas are really where Osteria Morini shines, though.
Tiramisu is a classic dessert that will end the meal on a high note. Maybe not the highest note, but it’s more than sufficient. Which sums up our meal at Osteria Morini. It exceeded expectations for the most part and proved that it could compete with some of the more popular Italian restaurants out there. That is why the place is packed at 9 pm on a Sunday.
218 Lafayette St (between Broome and Spring St)
New York, NY 10012