Prato On Park Ave


Recently we had the absolute pleasure of receiving a tasting experience at Prato on Park Avenue. What comes to mind when someone says, “Let’s go get something to eat.”? Which type of food do you envision? Are we talking about McDonald’s or Taco Bell, or maybe something a little fancier like P.F. Changs? Well, let’s go ahead and get that out of your head right now. Our latest visit to Prato will settle the internal debate that your brain and stomach are currently having.

When you’re at Prato, you want for nothing. The service is unparalleled. The staff is extremely knowledgeable of, not only the menu, but the creation process going on in the kitchen. This is an impressive feat considering that their menu changes daily. The General Manager, TJ, is one of the most accommodating people we’ve ever met. He truly cares about you and your experience, this is evident. The staff is always willing to help, even if you’re not sat in their section. This is, by far, some of the best service and cuisine that we have experienced. But that’s not all, hang in there because we’re going to talk about some dishes that will make your knees weak.

Prato Is The Place To Be

When you first walk into Prato, you’ll feel a warm sense of belonging. The lights are dim, the music selection is fun and not what you may expect from an Italian restaurant. There wasn’t a single Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra song played during our visit, which was a nice change of pace. We were sat in a booth near the bar and kitchen, one of our favorite locations. Some people may think that a table in this location would be too noisy, but Prato has done a great job of keeping all the hustle and bustle to a minimum. It’s easy to hold a conversation while hearing the faint chatter of patrons and music in the background. This creates an ambiance that is vastly appealing to the senses.

Made From Scratch And Locally Sourced

First and foremost, let us explain the farm-to-table, locally sourced, made from scratch operation that Prato is running. Prato sources multiple items locally, whenever possible, ranging from tomatoes used to top their Pomodoro pizza (which we were lucky enough to sample) up to their locally sourced honey that is used to top their house-made vanilla gelato (which we were also lucky enough to sample). Their pasta is handmade, as is their pizza dough, and even the syrup they use for cocktails at the bar. Almost everything at Prato is made from scratch, in-house, daily. Prato is on another level. If you’ve never been to a restaurant that hand makes everything, you’re missing out. This is the way humans were meant to dine.

You Had Me At Veal

Let’s talk about meatballs because Prato is known for these bad boys. Most people wouldn’t use fine meat like veal in a meatball, burger, meatloaf, etc. The status quo does not stop Prato from creating the most decadent meatballs that we’ve ever tasted. The combination of veal and beef is seared to lock in flavor and juices, then braised for eight hours, and finally topped off in their wood-fired grill from Italy. The outcome is one of the most tender, juicy, meatballs you’ll ever encounter.

They are served on a bed of creamy, cheesy, polenta which uses mascarpone cheese and topped with sweet Cipollini onions. Oh my God… We’re at a loss for words. The mixture of the creamy and cheesy polenta, the juices from the veal and beef, and the sweet flavor of the onions culminate into a tiny trip to Rome for your taste buds. This is not an exaggeration, if anything it’s an understatement.

Please support Prato by following their Facebook and Instagram pages. Also, be sure to visit their website and have a look at their menu, but be sure to check the menu before your visit since it changes daily.

Prato Has The Beet Dish Of All Beet Dishes

After already blowing our minds with their heavenly meatball appetizer, we were brought a dish that we normally wouldn’t be a fan of. Beets. Beets tend to be odd and hard to zero in on. Any other time we’ve had beets, the dish has seriously missed its target. Not at Prato. Prato left us wanting more at every turn. The Beet Arancini is served with red and golden beets, Cara Cara oranges, and topped with crushed pistachios and spiced yogurt. Because of Prato we’ve added beets to our grocery list for our next run to the store. Aside from beets being extremely healthy, we’ve also been shown that they can be prepared deliciously. Bravo, Prato, bravo.

Handmade Pasta Fit For The Corleone Family

If you’ve never made pasta before, it’s straightforward, but can be a time-consuming process. The fact that Prato makes enough pasta, daily, to feed an entire restaurant is ludicrous and most restaurants wouldn’t even bother; that’s the difference between good and great. The Mustard Spaghettini and Hazelnut-Sweetbread Tortellini are absolutely to die for. At first, you might think that mustard and pasta sounds peculiar. They add mustard powder to the pasta as they make it, for color, and no mustard taste shines through. The Spaghettini specifically was a rollercoaster of flavor combinations. Not only is there this delicious pasta but they even add homemade prosciutto that they end up smoking in house. Consider the mascarpone and parmesan cheeses and you end up with a dish that would bring the Corleone family to tears, and they aren’t known for crying.

Pizza For Happy Hour

You’ll be thrilled to know that Happy Hour includes full-sized pizzas for $13. You can’t even have Papa John’s deliver a large pie for $13. Everyone loves pizza but the fact that everything is handmade or locally sourced proves supreme. You can taste the quality. This pizza can run with the best. Any New Yorker will be thrilled to know that the Pomodoro pizza, like all their pizzas, passes the crunch, fold, and crust test with flying colors. If you’ve never tried a traditional pizza, made with locally sourced tomatoes, and cooked in a wood-fired Italian oven, hop in your car and drive to Prato right now. It’s more of a Neapolitan type of pizza, which we prefer, but there are some essences of NY-style pizza mixed in for sure.

Sweet But Not Too Sweet

Last but certainly not least we have dessert. We are not fans of sweets. Usually, it’s savory or nothing. But we’re glad that we were served this homemade vanilla gelato. It’s Italian sweet, not American sweet, and that’s why we loved it so much! It’s topped with locally sourced honey and fennel pollen. This is another mind-blowing flavor combination. Prato is creating cuisine, not food. If you don’t know the difference, “food” is defined as “any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth.” While “cuisine” is defined as “a style or method of cooking, especially as characteristic of a particular country, region, or establishment.”

You deserve this. You deserve to experience what really can be created out of fresh, local, ingredients in the hands of professional chefs and creative masterminds that will surely take over the Earth if we’re not careful. We are 99% certain that you will be back, that you’ll tell your friends and anyone that will listen, and that you’ll absolutely love every minute of it, one bite at a time.

Please support Prato by following their Facebook and Instagram pages. Also, be sure to visit their website and have a look at their menu, but be sure to check the menu before your visit since it changes daily.

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