Patsy’s is a NYC institution for Italian food in the Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen north area.
This joint has been around since 1944. I’m a sucker for old restaurants like this, so I had to give it a shot. Plus, they serve some really interesting dishes that I’ve only ever had at home growing up.
For example, I rarely see escarole served anywhere, and I love it. They do it a bit differently here than the traditional “escarole and beans” soupy stew. Here, its sautéed with garlic, olives, capers, pine nuts and raisins:
It was delicious. It reminded me of the stuffing my grandmother used to make for her artichokes. And speaking of which, they had stuffed artichokes on the menu too. I hardly ever see these anywhere except for at home either:
This was okay, but very pricey at $17. Honestly, my mother makes a much better one. This was stuffed with bread crumbs, olives, capers, anchovies, cheese and pine nuts. Very similar to how my grandmother used to stuff them, and similarly a bit dry like hers often were, since they are baked (usually for too long) after steaming. My mother steams and sautés instead of bakes, and stuffs them with breadcrumbs, cheese and sauce. A bit simpler, but it tastes way better.
My grandmother on the other side used to make stuffed squid for part of our massive Christmas Eve seafood feast. She stuffed them with cheese, anchovies, moistened Italian bread and egg. Then she would stitch them closed and they were cooked in a big bubbling pot of seafood sauce that contained blue claw crabs, shrimp, scallops, scungilli (conch) and more squid. It was amazing.
Anyway I see that dish even less frequently than the others above, so I had to order it when I saw it on the menu here.
These babies are stuffed with squid and shrimp, among other things. This was a pretty nice dish, especially the sauce, although a bit pricey at $36.
The last thing we tried was the veal parm. I pretty much have to order this whenever I see it on the menu, anywhere.
This one, however, was a bit of a let down. The breading fell off almost instantly upon cutting, and was just overall a bit soggy and not up to par. The potato croquette that came with it was just okay as well. The bar, however, was a nice little stretch of mid century modern goodness where I’d love to have a martini:
To sum up, nothing tastes as good as mom’s and grandma’s cooking, but when you need a fix away from home, Patsy’s might be the right spot to get it.
236 W 56th St
New York, NY 10019