Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Best Gnocchi in New York City??

It is no secret that New York City is a mecca for fine, ethnic and eccentric dining. In fact, there are so many dining establishments in the city, that you never have to eat at the same place twice.

Still, it is rare that I find food that I crave so much I make sure to pencil eating it into my social schedule, and I can't walk by the shop that sells it without stopping in for a bite.  These are the dishes I dream about, the dishes that I dream about dreaming about. They are just that good. Some examples -- the Artichoke Slice at Artichoke Basille's; the Arctica Burger at Arctica Grill; the Reese's Pieces Sundae at Friendly's (okay, okay, there's no Friendly's in NYC, sadly).

As of last night, I have a new addiction to add to that list -- the Gorgonzola Gnocchi at Jules Bistro, on Saint Marks between 1st and 2nd Ave. The fresh, piping hot, al dente pasta dish is full of just the right amount of smooth, silky potato and cooked with a tantalizing blend of cheese and spice. I only wish I had a more learned palate so that I could list out all of the ingredients here. I believe I tasted at least a hint of nutmeg... Whatever is in it, every bite made me swoon with passion for the joy my taste-buds were experiencing. I have always enjoyed gnocchi, but it is not typically my favorite pasta dish. The Gorgonzola Gnocchi at Jules has changed that for me. It is, so far, the best gnocchi I have ever had in New York City.

Surprisingly, the gnocchi at Jules Bistro is only offered as a side dish. The good news is that it only costs $5 but, while it is a generous and filling portion for a side dish, it is probably not enough to substitute for an entire meal. Order two?

Gorgonzola Gnocchi at Jules Bistro
Even if it were not for the gnocchi, Jules Bistro, complete with an ironic French host and items on the menu I cannot pronounce, is a great little bar-bistro that brings some sassy maturity to the college-kid feel of Saint Marks Place. There is also live jazz, every night, and no cover! Make sure to consider order something from the creative drink list, with prices ranging from $7 for a glass of homemade red sangria (fuller than most sangria, contains brandy and some other surprises), to $10 for cocktails made with lychee nut and other interesting concoctions.

Jules Bistro, celebrating its fifteenth year, is part of the Georges Forgeois Group of bar-bistros in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Bistro accepts only Cash and American Express. 

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