For more than 15 years, owner and executive chef William Mattiello has provided the Flatiron neighborhood with simple cuisine from his hometown Modena, Italy. Specialties include borlengo, a type of crepe filled with pancetta, rosemary, and Parmesan; Arrosto di Cingliale, roasted wild boar; and black-ink spaghetti with squid. The interior design is anything but Italian, however, with bright, multi-colored tiling on the wall reminiscent of 80’s video games. The back wall is all wine from the Emilia Romagna region. Make sure to stop by an ATM first, as it’s cash only.
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From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
Frenchman Didier Corlou (formerly of the restaurant at Hanoi’s Sofitel Metropole hotel) is the most revered foreign chef in Hanoi, known for his deft French-Vietnamese cuisine. Verticale, which opened a year ago, is his first solo effort in the city. One of the entrances to the four-story villa that houses the restaurant passes bythe kitchen, through a spice shop selling pollens, star anise and ginger and up a flight of stairs lined with pictures of Corlou’s ancestors and his Vietnamese wife, Mai.
We loved: The $48 tasting menu, which might include fresh mango and foie gras ravioli in lotus-tea sauce, and a river crayfish roasted in its own juice with green caviar and a watercress emulsion.