Over the past four years of Dumpling Hunter I have mainly focused on Asian and Eastern European dumplings, with a sideline in Pastys and Empanadas, and have almost ignored the ravioli (see here and here). It is time to right this wrong and to start reviewing some ravioli.
Harlem’s Vinateria serves an Italian and Spanish-inspired seasonal menu and has a good wine list. One of the focuses of the restaurant is to use as many organic and locally sourced ingredients as possible. Vinateria has a sleek, stylish dining room, a really friendly, fun bar scene and an outdoor sidewalk cafe area. This is a good place for an after work drink and light dinner.
The Dumplings: Vinateria has a changing seasonal menu so their ravioli may not always be available. This summer they have been serving Ravioli in Brodo – a Ricotta ravioli in tomato water with heirloom tomatoes. The ravioli had an superbly thin and delicate wrapper and were served floating in the light tomato water broth – this was a very light, fresh summer dinner. Tomato water was huge in the 1990’s but somehow I missed it, but in my defense tomato water was being served in high end restaurants and I was a poor student in the 90’s. Not knowing any better I was expecting the tomato water to mild tasting, but it actually packed a tomato flavor punch and was delicious. The last piece to this dish was the heirloom cherry tomatoes which provided sweet bursts of flavor.
The Dipping Sauce: I am still working out how to review ravioli, maybe the description of the sauce should come here.
The Location: Vinateria is in South Harlem on Frederick Douglas Boulevard at the corner of 119th street. The Boulevard from 112th to 123rd is a lively restaurant row of bars and restaurants.