04 April 2008
41 Madison Avenue
New York , NY 10010
The Gramercy/Flatiron area has an abundant number of top restaurants. And the block between 24th and 26th on Madison has three top places; Eleven Madison Park, Tabla and A Voce.
A Voce is a modern Italian/American place that provides fine dining in a modern environment. The relatively large dining room with a wall of glass facing 26th Street is pure Italian modern design. The simple stark design while stylish imparts zero warmth and comfort. Tables are lined in rigid rows which adds to the style but results in a cafeteria like feeling.
Fortunately the menu and execution of the of Chef Andrew Carmellini's kitchen is so excellent the environment is secondary. Based upon classic Italian cuisine, the kitchen transforms the dishes into contemporary cuisine that reflects its Italian origins, but also has modern American and fresh local ingredients that transforms the food into a very high level of modern cuisine. Appetizers are generous, pasta course are light and satisfying and mains - particularly seafood - are spectacular. Expect to pay premium prices for such excellently prepared meals.
The wine list is first class, featuring a full array of Italian selections, priced fairly. The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence is richly deserved.
The only failing at A Voce is the service. Reception while honoring reservations has a bit of an attitude, the wait staff is disinterested in serving and runners/busboys are not nearly as professional at other top places. This is an area that needs immediate attention and in our mind lowers our overall appreciation of the dining experience.
A Voce - Recommended