In the past decade, Columbus Circle has developed into a culinary destination unlike any other. Stand in the middle of the circle, and you are surrounded by gastronomic greatness in the form of 12 Michelin Stars, not to mention another handful of restaurants that are excellent in their own right.
So how does A Voce fare under the culinary giants, and I mean literally under Per Se and Masa? Missy Robbins holds her own.
The decision to dine at A Voce was completely spontaneous. The original plan was to get a light brunch at Bouchon Bakery, which was quickly put off by the long lines. While walking around contemplating an alternative itinerary for the afternoon, I found myself in front of the massive back-lit sign: A Voce.
The dining room is spacious, and much larger than its Michelin-starred peers at the Time Warner Center. Windows overlooking the traffic circle and central park provide a solid view, albeit from a relatively low floor level.
An Italian menu meant I was constantly searching for words on Google before settling on my order. All of this was made easier with a delicious citrus cocktail with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon. Despite my best efforts, some dishes still arrived at the table looking nothing like what I envisioned they would look like. Not that it was a bad thing, since all of the dishes were absolutely delicious.
Appetizers were light in seasoning, but showcased the natural flavors of the ingredients. Stracciatella, which I thought was a soup, was actually a mozzarella dish with roasted artichokes, lemon thyme and arugula. The flavors of the roasted artichoke and mozzarella made a great combination, and the sprinkling of sea salt was all it needed to bring the flavors together. Fish crudo with celery root salad had a nice dash of lemon juice to make it delightful and very refreshing.
A shared portion of prosciutto di parma is always great to share.
Entrées continued where appetizers left off, and took it to a higher level. The squid ink hand crafted orecchiette combined perfectly cooked pasta blended with flavorful bits of lobster, and made me reconsider which restaurant had the best Italian pasta on the Columbus Circle. This was definitely pasta on Marea’s level, if not better. The brick chicken was brined with fennel and chili, and the skin was perfectly charred. Each bite was juicy, crispy, and packed with flavor.
When the donuts arrived, I asked the waiter if this was better than the famous “coffee and doughnuts” served upstairs at Per Se. He smiled and said it was up to me to decide. It’s a damn good doughnut.
For all the hype and buzz the other restaurants receive, A Voce has somehow managed to fly under the radar, all while providing excellent food and service. I often tell people dining at the Columbus Circle could be a magical experience, A Voce is no exception.
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A Voce Columbus (Make a Reservation)
10 Columbus Cir
New York, NY 10019