In this inaugural edition of Showdown, we have newbie Italian joint Piccolo Sogno, which opens today. The contenders: Thrillist, DailyCandy, and UrbanDaddy. JuliB is apparently sitting this first round out.
Thrillist’s take on…
a cutesy title: “On the ‘Lo”
the chef, Tony Priolo: “Longtime right-hand men chomp at the bit to step up and unleash their own unique creativity – Snoop’s last words to Dre were “One day I will use Peter Frampton’s voice-box to record an R&B; song”.”
the dining room: “like a Pier 1 exploded inside Donald Trump’s penthouse.”
the menu: “ambitiously pan-Italian, whisking your ambitious gut from Naples (creamy buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil studded Margherita pizza) to Sicily (wood-fired whole fish w/ sea salt and braised fennel) to Rome (slow-roasted pork in garlic, olive oil, and fennel).”
the bar: “The 100+ bottle wine list also spans the Boot, with Chianti, Brunello, Barbaresco, and more from Umbria, Piedmont, Veneto, and loads of other regions you know intimately as “In Italy, right?” Priolo’s also spreading his hard-liquor wings, with 12 signature cocktails.”
UrbanDaddy’s take on…
a cutesy title: “Molto Patio”
the ambiance: “Complete with a lush and airy back patio, Piccolo transports you oceans away from busy Halsted Street (OK, maybe blocks). The garden outdoes former occupant Timo (no slouch in the authenticity department), and the fragrance of new junipers, and soon, fresh herbs, will have you swearing you’re on a mini Roman holiday.”
what to order: “we say go with a cold Menabrea. The Italian brew stands up nicely to Piccolo’s wood-fired pizzas and its porchetta, Roman-style roasted pork.”
DailyCandy’s take on…
a cutesy title: “Dream On”
the menu: “Simplicity reigns: house-made breads, organic Northern Italian risotto grains, Mediterranean fish, San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella from Naples. The well-rounded menu includes heirloom tomato salad, crunchy pizzas, handmade spinach and ricotta gnocchi, and rosemary-marinated lamb T-bones.”
The bar: “The cocktails are seasonal as well: This month try the blood orange mimosa.”
Winner: Thrillist, for providing maximum information with maximum mockery of the interior design tastes of self-styled oligarchs.
Loser: DailyCandy, for providing absolutely no unique information whatsoever, and sending their email two whole days after the other two, which makes us wonder if they were even on the initial press release mailing list at all.
Thanks for playing, everyone! See you next time!
[Photo: Showdown, via avant gardenia’s Flickr]