The chill still emanating from the earth will assure a beet season well into spring. Fine with us, and fine with Scott Tacinelli, Quality Italian’s executive chef. It just makes one of his signature dishes, roasted beet gnudi ($19), all the better. One of the more flamboyant pastas in town, the dumplings hold a rich pink/magenta color. They are served with a touch of goat cheese, a flavor pairing as classic as spaghetti and meatballs, but here’s a twist: They sit in a pool of poppy seed sauce and mingle on the plate with golden and candy-striped cousins. If you can take your eyes off of this pretty plate, eat it.
Opened in the summer of 2013, Midtown’s Quality Italian is the sequel to Quality Meats from restaurateurs Alan Stillman, Michael Stillman, and chef/owner Craig Koketsu, the trio that also just opened General Assembly. It’s a throwback joint, full of trolley service and hints to the days of red sauce with winking, yet tasty, kitsch (the chicken parm, for example, is served like a pizza). Though a pink pasta seems especially gimmicky, in the north of Italy, beet dumplings are a regional favorite. So get ‘em in New York while the season lingers, as Tacinelli is known to favor corn gnudi in the warmer weather.
57 W. 57th St.