ZAMBA“Is this lunch or dinner?”, He asked, reaching for his glasses.  “Well it’s 5:00 and we haven’t had lunch or dinner, so let’s have both,” Me said. Happily there are lots of choices to wine and “dine” from and all the ones we picked were great. Our server’s thorough understanding of all the wines by the glass (and bottle) was as reassuring as her smile.  We appreciated being able to sample sips of two whites, two reds (reorder our favorites) before choosing.  In terms of our total intake, however, two plus two, exceeded four. Enough said.  Ciro, Gavi, Montepuliciano – we were happy.

Being a wine bar, Zampa’s food is designed to support the wine, not the other way around and they do a very nice job.  We would have liked to try the duck proscuitto with ricotta which was not available, but as He said, “We”ll be coming back.”  The chicken liver with vin santo and broccoli rabe with white beans were delish.  The shrimp with cannellini beans and broccoli rabe was excellent and the shaved brussel sprout salad with walnuts and perfect dressing was the perfect partner.  “Just can’t be brussel sprouts,” He said.  “It is,” I replied. Is not, it is, is not, it is. So relieved when our server confirmed (as usual) I was right.  They were just incredibly good.  The lasagne is considered the “house specialty” and justifiably so.  The roasted pork, sliced paper thing is perfectly juicy, salty and gently garlicked.  If that’s not a real word, it should be.  That was enough eating and drinking  to preclude any possibility of desert, but we appreciated the complimentary glasses of Lambrusco offered – unfamiliar to us, but now a welcome new friend.

We really liked the casual, informal atmosphere and the people who make Zampa special. Happy, knowledgeable, efficient, it’s easy to get comfortable and settle into having some great wine and food. 

ZAMBA PHOTOZAMPA | 306 West 13th Street | New York, NY 10016 | 212.206.0601