dish buzz: osso buco

Osso Buco, Downtown

Osso Buco, Downtown

I was hoping to find a nice place last Wednesday to go to with my mom over in the Union Square/NYU area. We settled on Osso Bucco, an Italian restaurant just South of Union Square. It was bright and though it was definitely not dead, we could tell we would have no problem being seated. Always a plus.

Penne alla Caprese, Osso Buco

Penne alla Caprese, Osso Buco

Our server was very attentive, and quickly had a fresh basket of ciabatta bread on the table along with butter. We chose to start with an order of the fried zucchini. The single sized portion was more than adequate to share among two. The zucchini had been sliced into ribbons somewhere between thin to medium size in width, lightly breaded, and fried. The breading added a little bit of a salty crunchiness, but did not weigh down the dish or overpower the flavor of the zucchini itself. It was accompanied by warm fresh marinara sauce, which was very flavorful and not overly salty.

Bar Area, Osso Buco

Bar Area, Osso Buco

For our main course, we opted to share a family sized portion of the Penne alla Caprese, which was penne baked with homemade mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce. At $19.95 versus the $11.95 priced single portion this was a great value. There was enough food to easily serve 3, maybe even 4. The mozzarella was nicely distributed throughout and was melted just to the right consistency – melted but no to that stiff point just shy of burning. For me it was the mozzarella combined with the tomato sauce which made this dish. It could have used a little additional seasoning, perhaps some oregano and crushed red pepper (which I added to my leftovers the following day – very good), but overall was quite good.

I would recommend this as a great value if you are looking for a place that might provide family style servings. The only other Italian place I’ve encountered thus far that offers this is Carmine’s and Osso Buco definitely has them beat as far as availability of seating, attentiveness of wait staff, and ambiance.

Osso Buco – 88 University Place (at 12th Street) – 212-426-5422


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