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Malfatti at Maialino

It’s not about what’s in the name; it’s about what’s on the plate

When naming the restaurant, Maialino, Danny Meyer and chef Nick Anderer picked a fitting one: the word translates to “little pig,” and the best dishes at this Roman trattoria include some facet of pork. There’s a vast selection of salumi ($8-11), for starters, and a special menu celebrating offal, including charred suckling pig hearts with peppers ($6).


Malfatti at Maialino

Malfatti at Maialino

And then there’s the malfatti, a dish to which the Italians did a great disservice in its naming as it literally means “poorly made.”  There is no greater misnomer for chef Nick Anderer’s delicate sheets ($23), which have been an enduring signature at the Gramercy restaurant since its opening in 2009. The pasta is stuffed with soft, braised suckling pig, showered with just the right amount of arugula, and elegantly dressed in a pork jus and white wine sauce with a hint of butter and lemon. The rich flavors further prove how inaccurate the “poorly”-worded designation is.

Meyer recently announced that Anderer will soon have a new outlet when his new restaurant, in partnership with the Flatiron District hotel, King & Grove New York, opens in 2014. There, diners can expect more of Anderer’s Italian cuisine, and though the restaurant has yet to be named, we’re hoping his misleadingly-monikered pasta comes with him.

2 Lexington Ave.

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