It’s now been more than a year that chef Luca Della Casa, an alumnus of Andrew
Weissman’s Le Rêve and Il Sogno, has been at the helm of Nosh. No longer
is it the baby brother of upstairs sibling, Silo.
In his first months in the diminutive downstairs kitchen, Della Casa focused
on plates that recalled his Italian grandmother as much as they evoked any professional
experience, and many of those snacks, salads, and small plates remain
— though not without tweaks and retoolings. The fried risotto balls called
arancini, for example, have apparently been fine-tuned — not that these appealing
bites really needed it. Mac ‘n’ cheese has returned to the menu after an absence,
though now with an optional add-on of wild boar braised in red wine. We
say go for it; it’s a steal at $4.
Braised wild boar appears again on one of Nosh’s grilled pizzas in the company
of tomato sauce and pine nuts, and though I’ve only had the spicy “bomba”
pizza laced with sriracha sauce (and loved it, in spite of a partially pre-baked
crust that’s topped to order, grilled, then blistered in a broiler to compensate for
lack of a pizza oven), I have every confidence that boar bodes well here, too.
Della Casa says that popular demand brought back grilled Argentinian
sausage with chimichurri sauce. New to me was the plate of silky burratta
della campania with a deconstructed salad of sliced zucchini, roasted tomato
and garlic and a house-made flatbread; it was perfect with a glass of Soave
Classico from a wine list that is limited but gets the job done. (Both wines and
beers can be done in flights, a good way to test the waters before landing on
a favorite.) The cocktail list appears to have been refined down to five selections,
each at a modest $5, but there’s always the next-door bar for moving
beyond the likes of the Cucumber Refresher with Hendrick’s gin or the Nosh-
Tini with citrus vodka and St.-Germaine.
Other options include house-made tagliatelli with shrimp and snow peas and
a chopped salad with romaine and apples — Della Casa does salads well. He also
does a mean tiramisu, a classic dessert that, in his hands, transcends the often
tired-seeming genre. If you think you’ll want it, do yourself a favor and ask for
it to be removed from the cooler at the beginning of the meal; the flavors express
themselves better with the chill taken off.