Last week I ventured downtown to have what I can truly call the best meal I have had in ages. It came as a complete surprise as I went into the meal with zero expectations, for no reason other than that I knew very little about the restaurant beforehand. But here I am days later, and I am salivating about the meal that I had at Plado Tasting Bar in the East Village.
The (Mediterranean) restaurant is at 192 East 2nd Street. When we walked up to the brightly lit restaurant, we felt immediately welcome by a warm entrance. There’s a bar, which appeared to be frequented by locals, and wooden tables and chairs with exposed brick as a backdrop and open kitchen where we could watch the Chef German Rizzo in action. Michael Buble’s music played throughout the evening and his soothing vocals seemed to go along with our sublime meal.
It is clear to me that the Chef puts himself fully in his creations as the spices and flavors were particular to each dish, and each dish that we ordered was carefully crafted visually and played to our every sense. His training in Italy (he was born and raised in Turin) and with Cipriani Group, clearly prepared him for this endeavor. FYI, he also owns Vite Vinosteria in Astoria, Queens, and I plan to get there ASAP after this experience.
Plado Tasting Bar is a tapas restaurant, so all of the dishes are shareable. We had the Pumpkin Fritters, which I’m still dreaming about. They are made with pistachio mayo and pickled fennel. We also had the Taro Gnocchi, warm pillows that have been pan-seared with oyster mushrooms and a decadent truffle cream sauce. Both dishes were out of this world, and I honestly can’t say one was better than the other.
We also had Norwegian Salmon, smoked salmon that is complemented with citrus salsa, avocado, and baby arugula sprouts. It’s fresh and made with perfect spices. We also had a special Red Snapper dish to top everything off. The Chef also features a list of specials, which will rotate weekly, as well as a Chef’s Tasting Menu, which can be accompanied by wine pairings.
The sweets are just as lovely as the tapas and main dishes. We shared a S’more and More that is smoked tableside, featuring Bavarian cream, chocolate, graham crackers, caramel apples with toasted marshmallows on top. My daughter reveled in the Chocolate Lava Cake, made to perfection and worth the wait.
The 2nd Street Passion cocktail, which has prosecco, passion fruit puree, and mint was the perfect way to start out the meal. The restaurant also features signature wine-based cocktails with The Liceo with sauvignon blanc, lychee juice, peach purée and lime; and The Pomelo Spritz with prosecco, grapefruit juice, elderflower, and lemon. I want to try every one of their cocktails before I die.
Yes, I loved my meal at Plado Tasting Bar, and I urge you to go there. The meal is still in my dreams, and that is saying something. From one foodie to another, get yourself to this new restaurant before word gets out.
And that Michael Buble’, he’d agree, too.
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary meal at Plado to facilitate this review and others, but all opinions are my own.