Destino: Delectable, Addictive, Authentic, Oh My!

IMG_3193As per usual, my favorite city in the world, New York City, does it again with providing the best of the best in the culinary world. Destino, located on first avenue and fiftieth street in Midtown, provides traditional Southern Italian cooking.  Opening in 2006, Destino has quickly made its way to the top in regards to superb Italian cooking. The dining area comfortably seats up to 110 guests, while the private mezzanine provides room for an additional 15. If you are looking for something a little more private, the restaurant also offers a private dining room that can hold up to a gathering of 30.

Destino prides itself on using the freshest ingredients while staying true to homestyle cooking. While at Destino, I started with the Polpettine Di Mario, the house specialty meatballs. The meatballs were served over marinara sauce and garnished with parsley. As I’ve said before, I’m pretty particular when it comes to marinara sauce since I grew up in an Italian household; however, Destino more than satisfied my taste buds. Their sauce provided just the right amount of spice that compliments the sweetness of the tomato-based sauce perfectly. If you ever had the luxury of visiting an Italian household and have joined in on a family-style dinner, then you can imagine how wonderful the meatballs themselves tasted. If I hadn’t met the cook myself, I would have sworn my grandmother was in the back mixing up a huge batch of meatballs. One taste and I was hooked!

IMG_3192The meatballs accompanied a tray of bruschetta that was also absolutely to die for.  After the meatballs, which I complimented with a glass of Chianti, I had the Pollo Milanese. The Milanese is a thinly breaded chicken breast that is topped with baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and buffalo mozzarella, and it is garnished with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette. As can be expected, the chicken was fork tender. The breading did not overpower the chicken but instead created a light crust around the moist meat. All toppings were fresh and complimented each other perfectly. In terms of Pollo Milanese, this was by far the best I’ve ever had.

 After dinner and fine conversation, Destino began to pick up its business by seven o’clock; I went on a Monday night and it was bustling with customers. The restaurant provides a traditional homemade treat to its patrons while providing a modern atmosphere: the walls are a combination of clear mirrors and clean white walls, complemented by lights placed around them. The most impressive part of the decor, however, is the mural that is located on the ceiling. I was told that the mural represents the story of Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine. After some research, I discovered that the story of Bacchus represents letting go and enjoying the day without the stress of everyday life. Destino chose Bacchus to represent its message by indulging in the comfort of food and the luxury of wine. Destino’s message is to enjoy the day, and the Bacchus mural couldn’t have been a more appropriate reminder.
IMG_3200After learning about the Bacchus message that Destino so appropriately portrays, I decided to indulge in some after-dinner sweets, and I am happy I did. My sin of indulgence at Destino was none other than a piece of traditional Italian-style cheesecake. The cheesecake was drizzled with a thin layer of raspberry sauce that added a level of moisture to the cake that makes it melt in your mouth. I also had the treat of accompanying the dessert with an assortment of Biscotti cookies, which were sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, and a rich cup of coffee. To describe these treats would not do it justice. Take my advice, if you are in the New York City area, you simply have to go and treat yourself to one of New York’s best restaurants. 

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