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Osteria Morini: Beautiful Pasta On A Lazy Weekend Day

Ah, spring, a time to toss off those heavy coats and walk around the city with arms freely swinging. It is a good time to visit SoHo and check out OSTERIA MORINI (map!).

After a good long sleep, I woke up thinking “today I shall eat some pasta for lunch.” Of course, it couldn’t be just any pasta. This had to be excellent nothing-is-going-to-ruin-my-weekend pasta! My visits to Porsena and Eataly have spoiled me, but then again, is well-made, non-sticky pasta really so much to ask for? Osteria Morini had been on my radar for some time, so I figured this was the day to try it. Why hello, OpenTable, is there a table for 2 available? Yes? *Click-click* We’re on our way.

I sense greatness beyond these doors...

Osteria Morini is the lovely project of chef Michael White, who the NYTimes has aptly described as plotting his dominion through pasta. He’s also the food-master behind the restaurants Marea and Ai Fiori, both of which I would like to try someday. While Marea and Ai Fiori are a bit more expensive and haute, Osteria Morini is a charming little spot that is incredibly accessible, especially for lunch.

..."almost everything — the terra-cotta floor tiles, the farmhouse beams on the ceiling, the cast-iron front door, the gelato case — has been imported from Italy." Wow. That's dedication.

So now that we’re here, what are we eating?

Bufala mozzarella, grapes, rosemary oil, housemade sapa.

It’s amazing how just a few grapes can transform a dish. They were small bites, but each one was precious.

DH's dish: Stracci - wide ribbon pasta, braised porcini mushrooms

Look at those delicate folds. The mushrooms were just great. This stracci has also been featured in NY Magazine’s 101 pastas list (I want to eat my way through all 101), and I can see why. You can taste the love.

My dish: Tagliatelle - thin ribbon pasta, ragú all’ antica

I guess it was a ribbon pasta kind of day, but both of these dishes were amazing. This was the pasta that had been on my mind ever since I woke up. Ah, those perfectly textured carbohydrates, that flavorful sauce. Success!

So you can imagine our disbelief when the guy sitting in the next seat looked over at my plate and sniffed to his mother across the table: “Hmrph, that’s just pasta with meat sauce.”


I kept silent as if I didn’t hear him, but oh man…who put Kraft parmesan in his underpants? JUST “pasta with meat sauce”?? (And what kind of person audibly comments on strangers’ meals in restaurants?) I felt kind of sorry for the ravioli he was eating.

Still, I was enjoying my coveted nothing-is-going-to-ruin-my-weekend pasta, and it was strong enough to withstand even being insulted. I savored every bite, had a latte, and proceeded to have a fabulous weekend.

Go visit Osteria Morini. I hope you won’t have to sit next to that guy, but even if you do, know that nothing can spoil your meal when the food is that good.