2006_05_food_SalmonRibot.jpgWe recently had occasion to drop by Ribot, an ambitious Midtown East Italian-Mediterranean with a focus on ingredients. Peas, their shoots, fava beans, morels, and asparagus all make their springtime appearances, and we were struck by the use of Heritage Farms pork and Wagyu beef. Not that these last two ingredients are that rare or special, but we rarely seem to see Heritage products north of 14th street. The aforementioned ingredients find life in a wide ranging menu that hops from Morocco to Portugal before settling down with a large footprint in Italy. The wine list does a cross border dance as well, and does showcase some high-end bottles. Given that the restaurant is located in an office building, as well as having a plethora of business folk within walking distance, the big bottles will get some rotation from corporate spenders.

2006_05_food_breadcheeseplate_Ribot.jpgAs the weather gets warmer, we expect that Ribot’s large patio space running along the avenue and street sides of the building will draw a huge post work crowd. Should you get hungry after a few rounds of drinks we are comfortable recommending you get a light bite. Although ubiquitous around town, the delicious Tuna Tartar here is yellow fin tuna enlivened by Genovese basil and surprisingly enriched by flavorful Spanish mackerel. Fava Bean, Pea Shoot and Pecorino salad started our meal in a light and tasty manner, while the Wagyu was charred to a perfect medium rare and served with lightly garlicked mashed potatoes. For you chocolate lovers, the pastry chef had a nice take on the warm chocolate tart – not too sweet, a bit salty and served with a banana-mango compote.

All in all, an above average choice in bit of a culinary wasteland that is the East 40’s - we will return if in need of something in the area.

Ribot, 780 Third Ave. at 48th Street, (212) 355-3700