Entries in Vespa (1)




The other night, a friend suggested dinner at Vespa, a trattoria on the Upper East Side. I had never heard of it before, but a little research suggested that a lovely outdoor garden is its claim to fame. This being February, we dined indoors. It was Monday evening, and the restaurant was practically empty.

Speck & Artichoke Hearts

Beets & Goat Cheese
The menu changes seasonally; the winter 2007 menu is currently posted on the website. Appetizers are $8–11, pastas $15–18, meat and fish entrees $18.50–26.50, and side dishes $5. There choices are primarily Italian standards, but all prepared with a high degree of care.

My friend started with the Speck (smoked prosciutto) & Artichoke Hearts ($9), which I didn’t taste, but she seemed pleased with it.

The Beet & Goat Cheese Salad ($9) was a nicely balanced dish, including bits of blood orange and walnuts, with aged balsamic dressing. Beet salad has become rather common around town, but I seldom order it. This dish made me realize I should re-assess that.

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Lasagna Bolognese (left); Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu (right)

My friend swears by the Lasagne Bolognese with mushrooms ($17.50), and from the taste I had of it, I can see why. The flavor was hearty and intense. I thought that Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu ($17.50) tasted a little more generic. I had to remind myself that I was eating lamb, and not just standard red sauce.

The space is appealing and comfortable, and the service was just fine. Vespa is a great place to have in the neighborhood. Indeed, I wish my neighborhood had one.

Vespa (1625 Second Avenue between 84th & 85th Streets, Upper East Side)

Food: *
Service: *
Ambiance: *
Overall: *