Is there anything better than looking out over Central Park while sipping a glass of wine and nibbling on prosciutto di Parma and other assorted house-made salumi? Perhaps enjoying all that with an order of chef Missy Robbins’ pork belly with figs, pistachios, and balsamic vinegar or her signature roasted mushrooms smattered with hazelnuts and accompanied by a delicate, creamy fonduta. Therein lies perfection, and you’ll find it at A Voce at the Time Warner Center.
For those familiar with the restaurant’s original location off of Madison Square Park, think of this newer branch not as a replica, but, instead, as a complement–together, they form a culinary compendium. Robbins has created different dishes for each address. It’s fine Italian dining with an emphasis on thoughtful and smartly restrained ingredient combinations–there are few products on the plate, but each one stands out and is experienced in a new way thanks to the items with which it’s partnered. Aside from the standouts already mentioned, the combination of melt-in-your mouth stracciatella (a super soft, burrata-like Pugliese mozzarella), with mildly sweet pears, peppery arugula, and smoky speck is a knockout, and the deconstructed, streamlined take on baccalá (salt cod) showcases a genius in simplicity. And those are just the appetizers. The pasta is equally inspired and cheat-worthy for those avoiding carbohydrates, and any fan of the classic chicken-under-a-brick will find A Voce measures up. The entire experience, from the large-scale dimensions of the space with its notably supportive and sleek, swiveling Eames chairs to the food strikes a rare balance between impressive and comfortable. (212.823.2523)