Negronis with a side of pasta

When I heard there was a restaurant serving negronis on tap I got there as fast as I could.

The fact that Dante is owned by Australians* and serves up gorgeous bowls of pasta is merely a cherry on the sundae of a truly fantastic dining experience.

And they don’t  just serve negronis – they really commit to them. Instead of happy hour, they host Negroni Sessions, where for $9 apiece you can pick from a menu of 12 different negronis.

I’m all about that. Actually, I’m just all about Dante in general.

The place. It’s located in an old building in the West Village that used to be a restaurant also called Dante. They kept the name and updated it to be awesome.

There’s not a lot of outdoor seating so when we snagged a sidewalk table we were feeling pretty smug. As dinner wore on, we were especially glad to be outside because the inside turns into a bit of a scene – not that that’s a bad thing. It’s just a little snug.

I definitely wasn’t expecting there to be a line out the door to get to the bar, or for the people at the table next to us to be throwing back shots. Be prepared that this isn’t a quiet little Italian café and is definitely a lively weeknight dinner.

The food. Italian-focused, with flatbreads and pasta. I had the orrecchiette with pesto, peas and ramps, and a kale salad that I was planning to share and then conquered entirely on my own.

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The pasta was a work of art: bright green pesto, artfully arranged greens, a handful of pine nuts and a sprinkle of (shhh don’t tell) cheese. At first glance, the bowl seemed small for my ravenous appetite. It was deeper than it looked.

Also the salad was like, so, so delicious. It was something about the vinegary dressing – a cab sav vinaigrette – mixed with creamy avocado that made me devour it before anyone else could ask for a bite.

The drinks. Negronis, obvi. First I went with the classic on tap. Then I got a sbagliato which I had never had before but was kind of digging – it’s made with prosecco. To be honest, I didn’t know that a negroni was something you could mix up and was a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities. Next time I promise to explore the menu more thoroughly 😉

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Sbagliato

*Fact: Australian-owned food establishments are the best. For example, I’m not sure why but Australian coffee shops are completely fantastic. If you haven’t been to Little Collins or Bluestone Lane Collective go immediately. Also, the accents.

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