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Rubirosa: That Cozy Red Sauce Spot in Nolita

March 3, 2015

I have just finished the latest episode of the Bowery Boys Podcast on the history of Little Italy so it seemed apropos that I am writing my review on Rubirosa, a Italian spot in Nolita/Soho.  Located on Mulberry just a little north of the tourist filled stretch, Rubirosa is that perfectly comfortable neighborhood spot that I want within a few blocks of me.  The rustic interior is cozy and snug, a perfect escape from the frigid cold winter air.

The menu here is simple yet expansive, offering patrons a variety of dishes from antipastos to pastas to secondi and, of course, classic pizza pies straight out of the oven.

Crispy orbs of arancini make for an excellent easy to share starter.  The creamy mascarpone rice balls are studded with prosciutto and fontina for that amazingly melting center.

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The flavorful roasted octopus arrives on a bed of mache with tomatoes and almonds, making it a more substantial starter than it might seem initially.

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The pastas at Rubirosa are a must-have.  One of my favorites is the black and white tagliatelle loaded with shrimp, clams, calamari, scallops and mussels.  Basically, all the delicious seafood that the ocean has to offer all in one bowl.  The tagliatelle served in a light tomato sauce still amazes me with its duo personality, one side black with squid ink and the other white.

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The spinach campenelle is not one to overlook either.  Rich yet delicate, these trumpet like pastas are tossed simply with mushrooms and garlic in an earthy cream sauce.

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For the traditionalists, the rigatoni with sausage ragu and pecorino is a solid choice that will warm you right up.  Nothing surprising but just a bowl of hearty comfort food that will be good to the last bite.

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The pastas come in half as well as full portions.  Even though it might be tempting to order full portions, I would advise that you go with the half so you can save room for a slice of pizza pie, something that was on every single table.  There are quite a few pies to chose from but why not just go for the tie-dye?  In one pizza, you get a bite of the pesto, the vodka as well as the fresh tomato and mozzarella.  What’s not to love?  This is amazing on its own but if you are feeling a little adventurous, adding meatballs is also a solid choice.

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All of this carb loading must be accompanied by some greens (and no, the pesto on the pizza doesn’t count).  The roasted brussels sprouts comes loaded with bacon and thin shards of pecorino while the black kale is more simply dressed with garlic and crispy onions.

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If there is by any chance still room for a little something sweet, the chocolate bread pudding is perfectly soft and tender.  And serving anything with ice cream on top will only make it that much better.

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For something a little easier to share and pass around the table, these little bites of fried dough with chocolate and apple cider dips are perfect for just that.  Be careful though because if you aren’t careful, you will be wearing most of the powdered sugar.

 

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Even though Rubirosa is well known for their pizzas, a meal there should include a little from all of the sections of the menu.  From delicious appetizers to hearty pastas to that ultra thin crust pizza, Rubirosa is one of those places that has now become one of my go-to spots for the Nolita neighborhood.

Rubirosa | 235 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012 | http://rubirosanyc.com/

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