167 Mulberry Street New York, NY 10013 • (212) 431-9493lamelarestaurant.com
There are scores of “authentic” Italian restaurants in New York, but most of them require labor intensive decisions on your part, like ordering. Well, at La Mela, which is Italian for “The Apple,” they don’t bother you with such pesky details.
Our server arrived at our table of eight and simply asked “Red or white?” People fell on both sides of the question and so- Boom! BOOM!!! Two magnums of house wine, one red, one white, landed on our table.
Next up, antipasti? Yes or no? We opted for yes and in about 10 minutes or so an assortment of antipasti dishes were spread out before us. Giving everyone a taste of everything. Sort of like in picture above, plates were subdivided at times to make sure we didn’t miss a thing. And it was right about then that I got it. This must be what it’s like to eat at someone’s house in Italy who loves to cook and force feed their guests. I say “force” with love, mind you, because nothing about it felt forced and I truly enjoyed about 90% of what they brought.
For entrees it was- Chicken? Fish or Meat? Or any two? Or all three? We went all three and once again they returned a bit later with a number of dishes each made with the respective protein. And again, they were all pretty good I have to say.
And while one might assume that what came next was dessert, yes or no? Well you would only be half right. Before that, the entire place broke into song, complete with mandolin in hand, as this authentic Italian family danced around the restaurant serenading us while making “interesting” gestures with what can only be described as a giant dildo made of gourdes and Christmas lights. It sounds more offensive than it is. It’s actually quite amusing. And just one of the many things that makes La Mela a memorable, one of a kind experience.