I was invited to lunch at Mozzarella & Vino (33 West 54th St) by the company public relations firm. I never promise a positive review, even as a guest of the restaurant. How does one tell the manager George Coteanu, the chef Vito Gnazzo, or the owner Gianfranco Sorrentino I just wanted a few sample dishes. I realized as soon as I walked into the restaurant that I had been at one of their other restaurants- Il Gattopardo a month ago for a Bordeaux luncheon. The Leopard at des Artistes on West 67th Street is the third member of the family. Ah, do I remember my many visits there when George Lang ran Café des Artistes at that location. Enough reminiscing.
Mozzarella & Vino opened in the former location of Il Gattopardo when it moved a few doors down the street. George Coteanu suggested a tasting menu. The dishes could have fully fed two people but I managed to finish almost all the dishes (nap time). There is an emphasis on Mozzarella di bufala Campana, Italian cheeses and a wonderful sampling of smaller family estate Italian wineries.
Trust me you cannot go wrong with any meal you choose here. There was a charming grandmother at the next table who was visiting from Geneva Switzerland with her two grandchildren. This was her third visit to the restaurant while in New York because her grandchildren loved the food. Enough said.