Last week, my friends and I decided to catch up over dinner.Â We all agreed that we wanted to be on the East side, and before I knew it, we planned on Via Della Pace.Â We scooped up aÂ restaurant.com gift certificate at a 70% off discount and were ready to enjoy our meal.
We headed over before 8pm and stood at the bar to take advantage of Happy Hour. Happy Hour lasts from 5-8 pm and includes $4 beers and $6 glasses of wine, sangria and prosecco.Â The sangria was absolutely delicious and very refreshing, filled with bits of apple and oranges.Â It was pretty crowded at the bar, so I was relieved when we made our way to a table downstairs.Â The restaurant dÃ©cor was very rustic, as if trying to create a Tuscan atmosphere.
The bread started flowing and it was pretty standard.Â I enjoyed that the restaurant had oil and balsamic vinegar on the table, so we dipped away as we waited for our whole party to arrive.Â My roommate and I decided to kick off our meal with buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, which were good.Â They spiced it up with yellow and red tomatoes and I was surprised that yellow tomatoes tasted the same (at first I had a complex and was scared to eat them).Â This appetizer was good, and I enjoyed it, especially with the balsamic vinegar nicely sprinkled on top of it.Â My friends ordered bruschetta with pancetta, goat cheese, and asparagus and said the asparagus made the dish.Â It was apparently a nice surprise (I didnâ€™t try a bite because I detest goat cheese).Â My friends also ordered beef carpaccio, that had a dash of truffle oil on it.Â The truffles, as my roommate said, were â€œripping.â€ The smell encompassed the table.Â Of the carpaccio and the bruschetta, the bruschetta was the favorite.
I was disappointed that the dish I ordered, gnocchi in a gorgonzola sauce was unavailable.Â Instead, I settled for lobster ravioli in a pink vodka sauce. Overall, the dish was ok.Â I thought portion size it was perfect â€“ not too big that I had to take a lot home, and enough food that I felt full. The sauce though was a little cold in some parts of the dish, and I swore that some bites of my ravioli had a fishy aftertaste.Â I eat lobster a lot, and honestly, the Trader Joeâ€™s lobster ravioli may have been on par with this dish.
The dish though that was the biggest disappointment at the table was the rigatoni del pirata â€“ baked rigatoni with sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella in a tomato rum sauce. This was more like a mac and cheese dish.Â There was hardly any meat in the dish or mushrooms.Â When we complained to the waitress, she decided to bring out more sauce because the mushrooms and meat cooked in it.Â The sauce had a few mushrooms at the bottom but the two of the six of us who ordered it were pretty disappointed.
My friend Amy summed up the meal best â€“ out of all of us, no one was raving about their dish at Via Della Pace.Â No one was saying â€œoh my God, this is so good, I need to taste it.â€ The saving grace of the meal was theÂ restaurant.com gift certificate.Â Because of the gift card, the grand total came to $27 a person â€“ thatâ€™s including two bottles of wine for the table, three appetizers, and six entrees (my sangria was purchased at the bar before).Â Not bad, but if you want Italian, thereâ€™s plenty of places in NYC that serve above mediocre food.The Basics Name: Via Della Pace Location: 48 E 7th St #A (between 1st and 2nd) Who to bring: Friends Price: $$ Most pasta dishes were below $15. Overall: 2 stars. Not worth returning to ever again – even if I was starving.