La Birreria - Rooftop Dining at Eataly

La Birreria - Rooftop, 200 5th Avenue, NYC, 10010

Not having any plans for dinner one night, I (Mirko) was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from a friend who was free. But that meant trying to find something around the Midtown area around 23rd street which I am not very familiar with.

Waiting at Eataly (ok, at the Nutella bar drinking a Nutella Latte), I was told that atop this establishment there was a rooftop restaurant named Birerria which was worth trying. During this visit, Birreria was transformed into Baita, a pop up Italian Alps inspired restaurant.

The view from the entrance
The rooftop is retractable allowing this location to be used throughout the year. As it is winter, the roof is closed and there are heaters around us keeping the place warm whilst allowing us to gaze out into New York City (NYC). There is a great vibe with lots of chatter and laughter filling up the room. Really cool.

We are seated at a table and provided with the drinks and food menu. We are given some water, and unfortunately, it is some time (10+ minutes) before we are approached again to take our order. We decide to go for a 500 ml carafe of wine (Red - cost $20) an entree as well as a main each.

Sciatt - $8
First up was the Sciatt - Beer battered and fried Piave cheese. Quick note, these need to be eaten warm so the cheese is melted and stringy and doesn't harden. The Sciatt has the right amount of salt from the cheese and are so moorish that I could have had an entire bowl (or 2) to myself.

After our entree, we are presented with our pasta dishes. My friend opted for the Gnocchi con pomodoro e basilica ($18) whilst I had the Caserecce con cime de rapa e Pecorino Romano (Afeltra Caserecce with Brocolli Rabe Pesto and Pecorino).

Caserecce - $17
The flavours in the dish reminded me of old school Italian cooking. Use of basic ingredients, of a good quality, done well. The dishes here are not meant to be anything else. Whilst I was pleased with the dish itself, for the cost paid ($17), I was disappointed with the overall quantity. Thinking that it was just me, my friend was also disappointed with the quantity of gnocchi that was received and after looking at her plate compared to mine, her serving was much smaller.

For dessert, I ordered the Bunet which is a Chocolate Budino, salted caramel and Amaretti cookies.

Bunet - $8
The Chocolate Budino (which is similar to a custard or pudding) was soft and had the consistency that was expected. The addition of the Amaretto biscuits added a crunch to the dish adding a nice textural element. What disappointed me though was the dish mentioned salted caramel in its title and I could not taste any hint of salted caramel in this dessert.

Our service woe's continued at the end of the meal where we had to ask for the bill twice before it was actually presented to us.

Overall, I didn't mind my dinner at Birreria. With a few minor tweaks to the dishes as well as the service, this would have been a better than 'good' experience. With the summer weather approaching, I will be back to try a few beers when the roof is open.

Service: 2.5/5 - Service was slow, we had to ask for the bill twice.
Ambiance: 4.5/5 - Really enjoyed the look of the venue, the vibe was cool and full of chatter and laughter.
Food: 6.5/10 - The flavours were basic, home cooking (this is a good thing), but portion sizes were a little tiny (even by US standards).

In total, OTCB gives Birreria 13.5/20 chops On The Chopping Board.


La Birreria - Eataly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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