Monday 16 March 2015

Maialino Italian restaurant New York - how to get a table - and what to wear out to dinner in Manhattan

Maialino New York Italian RestaurantMaialino is an open all day Italian restaurant near Gramercy Park in New York, attached to the Gramercy Park Hotel, offering real Romanesque cooking.  Created by restauranteur Danny Meyer, Maialino is so popular that if you’re visiting New York and you want a real treat you should go there, but make sure that you book.

Just a hint,  if you can’t get a table on Open Table don’t despair, call the restaurant direct.  I find frequently that I can get a table at a restaurant showing no availability online just by picking up the phone.  You may also get last minute cancellations but again you need to call them and not try online.

Maialino is a huge restaurant and when you walk in, particularly if you’re seated at the back, you may think you’re walking through a maze, there are so many different areas.  Service is really good.  Prices are high as you’d expect from somewhere so popular, although currently they offer a fixed price lunch menu for $35 (plus tax and tip).

Maialino New York PastaThe pasta makes you feel as though you’re back in Italy.  Try the spaghetti alla vongole and share it if you don’t want a whole bowl but want to try other things as well.  Maialino means ‘little pig’ in Italian and two of the specialities here are the different types of salami (salumi) and their roasted suckling pig which again you can share.  Everything I tried there was delicious and I would go back in a flash.

What to wear for dinner in New York:  When I was in New York a couple of weeks ago – and just in case you didn’t already know – the temperatures were arctic, literally.  So the little black dresses hanging in my wardrobe all went to waste.  As did my heels.  The only things that worked, and which I had with me for day-time were black suede boots over tight black pants (I hate the word jeggings or treggings) worn with a lace top and fur collared long belted knit jacket. 

I have to say I wore this four evenings straight and discovered that most restaurants in New York are now more smart/casual than formal keeping it chic, sophisticated and, for the main part, neutral.  So if you’re off somewhere like this look for this season’s filmy, slightly see-through blouses, slim pants unless anything wider really flatters you, modern jewellery and high heels.

Karen Millen dot devore blouse and black pantsJoseph wrap effect silk top and cream culottesRick Owens Jersey draped top and skinny black pantsElizabeth and James Polka Dot Shirt

You can take it that if your other half is expected to wear a suit (rare) at a really smart place, then you can get out one of your little black dresses and dress up as much as you like, still keeping it modern.  But that’s where a really good LBD comes in, change your accessories and you can change the look totally.