Piora

The soft, warm Monkey Bread was just what we needed after being caught in the downpour on the way to the restaurant. I wasn't a huge fan of the seaweed butter, but the whipped lardo was quite yummy.

 MONKEY BREAD with SEAWEED BUTTER AND WHIPPED LARDO

MONKEY BREAD with SEAWEED BUTTER AND WHIPPED LARDO

I am usually not a big fan of scallops, but these scallops were amazing! Plump, sweet, and melt in your mouth good!

 SCALLOPS - PORCINI, SPRUCE, CRISPY CHICKEN SAUCE

SCALLOPS - PORCINI, SPRUCE, CRISPY CHICKEN SAUCE

I'm pretty critical of octopus dishes, especially when restaurants charge $16+ for 2-3 tentacles.  Because I do love octopus, I can't help but order it when I see it on the menu. Unfortunately for me, Piora's octopus dish missed the mark.  These skinny tentacles were over-sauced and too salty. 

 BARBECUED OCTOPUS - FERMENTED PEPPER, BASIL, PINE NUTS

BARBECUED OCTOPUS - FERMENTED PEPPER, BASIL, PINE NUTS

We ordered some carrots for good measure.  My "veggie" quota for the day.  I think the carrots were perfectly fine, but at the end of the day, they were just carrots. 

 CARROTS - PISTACHIO, YOGURT, HAM

CARROTS - PISTACHIO, YOGURT, HAM

We ordered all 3 pasta dishes on the menu. The crab bucatini and the duck sausage rigatoni were amazing!  Given my recent pasta obsession, I have been eating lots of pasta.  These 2 pasta dishes easily topped the chart. 

 BUCATINI - BLACK GARLIC, DUNGENESS CRAB, MAITAKE, CHILI

BUCATINI - BLACK GARLIC, DUNGENESS CRAB, MAITAKE, CHILI

So much flavor in this rigatoni dish! The sweetness from the fig really worked well with the duck sausage.

 RIGATONI - RED WINE, DUCK SAUSAGE, SPIGARELLO, CHARRED FIG

RIGATONI - RED WINE, DUCK SAUSAGE, SPIGARELLO, CHARRED FIG

The Tortellini was our least favorite pasta dish. The flavors of the porcini and chestnut really didn't come through. It just tasted like little pieces of dough. 

 TORTELLINI - CHESTNUT, PORCINI, BRA DURO

TORTELLINI - CHESTNUT, PORCINI, BRA DURO

The duck was very tender and tasty.  The farro and the hoisin sauce complimented the meat perfectly. 

 ROHAN DUCK - JUJUBE, FARRO, BLACK GARLIC

ROHAN DUCK - JUJUBE, FARRO, BLACK GARLIC

I wish restaurants would stop trying to "modernize" classic desserts by deconstructing them. The desserts look beautiful, but weren't very satisfying at all. I wanted a proper pavlova, not a few little crumbles of meringue. 

 RHUBARB PAVLOVA  - WHITE CHOCOLATE, SEABERRY 

RHUBARB PAVLOVA  - WHITE CHOCOLATE, SEABERRY 

 SUMMER CHERRIES - MASCARPONE, HIBISCUS

SUMMER CHERRIES - MASCARPONE, HIBISCUS

 CHOCOLATE - SMOKED CARAMEL, MARSHMALLOW, GRAHAM CRACKER

CHOCOLATE - SMOKED CARAMEL, MARSHMALLOW, GRAHAM CRACKER

Verdict: A+.  Overall it was a very good meal, with a few standout dishes.  The service at the restaurant could have been better.  Even though the servers were all very nice, the actual service was haphazard. For the price, I think the restaurant needs to be step it up a notch.

Piora
430 Hudson Street
http://www.pioranyc.com