Corsino never made it to the top of my review list when it opened in late 2009. I was put off by the repetitiveness of the Denton brothers’ restaurant proffer: all they seemed to do was clone their original casual Italian spot, ’inoteca, with minor tweaks from one installation to the next. (An attempt at upscale Italian, Bar Milano, was a spectacular flame-out.)
In the meantime, the brothers split up recently, with Jason buying out Joe, who has moved to Australia.
Corsino sits on an ideal West Village street corner, with big glass windows on two sides letting in plenty of sunlight. The casual rustic décor is right out of the Dentons’ playbook.
The menu is a lineup of “the usual suspects,” with a few twists for the more adventurous, such as: tripe soup; oxtail ravioli with bitter chocolate; heritage brisket meatballs.
Prices are inexpensive, with crostini $2.50 apiece, antipasti $5–13, pastas $15–18, entrées $15–21, sides $7–9. The antipasti and pastas looked a lot more interesting, so we ordered only from those categories.
Affetatti (sliced meats) are $10 individually, but for $18 you get an impressive spread of testa (pig’s head), lingua (tongue), soppressata, prosciutto, mortadella, and speck.
The pastas were exemplary: strascinati (above left) with pork shoulder, pecorino & nutmeg; and clever special of buckwheat ravioli filled with spinach, decorated with flower petals (above right).
The wine list, too, is far better than you’d expect: eight pages, all Italian, grouped by region. You could spend hundreds, but there’s an ample selection below $40—as there should be (ahem: Gabe Stulman). Service was attentive, but our visit early on a slow Sunday evening, with the restaurant less than half full, may not be typical.
It’s hard to call Corsino a destination, when so many neighborhoods have Italian food of this quality, but it is certainly enjoyable here (especially when it’s not busy), and the wine list will reward repeat visits.
Corsino (637 Hudson Street at Horatio Street, West Village)
Food: good, seasona, casual, Italian
Service: friendly and attentive
Ambiance: cookie-cutter rustic chic
Why? The food is pretty good and the wine list is even better