Peasant NYC

So I’ve decided to add a new feature to my site. Since travel, sports, current events and food are some of my biggest passions and I write about the other three, I have decided to start doing restaurant reviews in more detail than just mere mention in my posts…so to speak. I travel all over but live in New York; so many of the restaurants I will talk about will be in New York but whenever I go other cities I will write about some of them as well. Obviously, I have a big back log of restaurants all over the US to talk about but will try and focus on places that are fresh in my mind. So my first restaurant review will be where I ate last night, Peasant. A chic, yet unassuming, perfectly decorated Tuscan hotspot in a cool NYC neighborhood called Nolita.

Located at 194 Elizabeth Street between Prince and Spring, it’s about a ten minute walk east from my apartment in the Village. It is very unassuming from the outside and you probably wouldn’t even know it was there if you didn’t know it was there. I say this because my friend who I went with had never heard of it. I did cheat a little bit though because it’s my friends’ Uncle that owns the place and I’ve been there several times but not in at least 4-5 years and much has changed although all food is prepared in the open rustic wood fired kitchen.
Mainly, I remember they had the best osso buco I had ever had but for some reason that the waitress couldn’t answer they took it off the menu and they don’t offer it at all. I was a little disappointed but I replaced it with a veal chop which was delicious. It was covered in some fancy mixed mushrooms and herbs. It was killer and also a very large portion which is refreshing for New York City.
I didn’t get an appetizer because I knew the veal chop was going to be big but my friend got burrata to start which is a seemingly awesome milk cheese mix with cherry tomatoes. Also, the gnocchi which wasn’t that great and seemed more industrial which I suppose fits the peasant theme but didn’t translate as well. They also offer such mains as suckling pig, octopus in purgatory and some pretty good pizzas I recall from a few years ago.

To start they give you some awesome crisp Italian bread with complimentary sweet ricotta to dip along with olive oil. It was fantastic and very true to form for New York downtown Italian places. They have to have good bread to compete because all the other places do!
Peasant also has a regular bar as you can see plus an extensive but expensive wine list. The food is pretty decently priced though for a good New York restaurant; they also take credit cards (which some downtown Italian places do not) and the service was OK. Although I don’t know why they took the osso buco off the menu (I will ask my friend soon), it was a good experience and it’s always a pleasure to eat down in Nolita. Although it’s so close to where I live, I sometimes forget to go there because there are so many good Italian places in the West Village. Check Peasant out next time you’re in New York or if you live here, go there, I recommend it for sure.

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  1. I had read somewhere awhile back that the average New Yorker that lives in Manhattan (or nearby) eats out almost every single meal and very few cook themselves? This may be a generalization or an exaggeration, but with the average person living in Manhattan making six figures, or very close to it, and having more restaurants available per sq. mile then pretty much anywhere, I can see how this can be true — why cook when you can have some of the best chefs in the world prepare you meals! I’d figure you have to be serving up some good eats if your restaurant is expected to survive in NYC.

  2. I have been to Peasant, it is an excellent place with really cool decor. I had the pizza, although I can’t remember which one, but I remember thinking it was pretty good. I am a wine lover and they did have an excellent selection of Italian reds. I live uptown so maybe your reviews can help me find new downtown places to try!

  3. Ryan, ya most New Yorkers eat out a lot. Most don’t have time or energy to cook so eating out or delivery is the way to go. Some cook, but most don’t…I never cook. I truthfully recently used my stove for the first time ever as I am trying to eat a little healthier these days and made chicken in a pan but what I realized is cleaning up sucks and thus I pretty much gave up on it. And yes there are so many good places to try and restaurants/bars are really the only way to catch up with friends because everyone is always so busy. Social culture is NYC is based around restaurants/bars…as I am sure it is in most cities but in NYC, you rarely go to someone’s place to hang out like you may in smaller cities or cities where you drive, it’s always meet somewhere for dinner and/or drinks.

    Thanks Peter and I hope I can entice you to try or not try some places downtown. I don’t eat uptown much, hardly ever as I tend to stay below 14th Street if I can help it, but if you know any good Italian, Sushi, Mexican or otherwise please shoot me an email. I am always looking for good new places. Whether you live upper east or west, you have a shake shack now which is nice, assuming you like burgers.

  4. Thanks! I will be in NYC next week and will check it out. I am staying at the Bowery Hotel so it’s not too far.

  5. There is a good Italian place within the Bowery Hotel called Gemma at Bowery and 3rd…I am pretty sure the room service at the hotel is from the restaurant as well. Cool lobby bar at that hotel too.

  6. I went to Peasant once, but I went to the downstairs wine bar, which is very cozy and cute. I remember the food being pretty good and the bartender being very generous with his wine pour.

  7. Ya I didn’t mention or picture the downstairs bar because we sat upstairs but it is pretty cool as I recall.

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