While I was waiting for the rest of my party to arrive, I sat in the bar area in the front of Convivio 45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017 and decided I don’t like red colored restaurants. The similar feel this had to Strip House and Giorgio’s of Gramercy (both very red inside) feel old-fashioned and make me uneasy. Red walls seem to close in on me and I don’t think I’m claustrophobic. Luckily, the dining room has a much lighter, white and gray approach (only red banquettes).

I wanted everything on Convivio’s menu and had such a hard time choosing. Fortunately, our waiter was great with recommendations, and going with his suggestions landed me a very good meal. Convivio offers a four courses for $59. You just chose right off the regular menu, one appetizer, one pasta, one meat or fish, and one dessert. You can order a la carte as well, but it’s such a great way to taste more of the menu, I can’t imagine doing otherwise. Fresh bread, Ciabatta, Olive, and Whole Wheat are all super fresh. I ordered the Tranquillo Casa Coste Piane 2006 because a non-bubbly Prosecco caught my curiosity. It tasted just like that, a still Prosecco, which was interesting and went nicely with my meal, but won’t have me going out to buy it.

Still Prosecco

We had major difficulties with pictures here but a few still do show how beautiful the dishes were. I started with Lingua, slow poached veal tongue, which had the most incredible texture. Tongue is often chewy like gizzard or braised until it’s falling apart. This one was so tender but still bounced back. The capers and pickled red onion added the perfect acidity.


Lon had the Polpettine in Brodo, tender pork meatballs with parmigian and broccoli rabe, a light comfort dish.

Polpettine in Brodo

Lon added an extra small dish of Arancini, saffron risotto croquettes. It was the only disappointing dish of this meal. There just wasn’t much flavor and the outside was not crisp enough.


For the pasta course, Lon had the Maccheroni all Carbonara, completely different than any other I’ve tasted. It was so rich and creamy, but didn’t feel heavy. I could actually eat a whole bowl of this, maybe two.

Maccheroni alla Carbonara

My Malloreddus was a dream come true, a sardinian saffron gnocchetti with crab and sea urchin. While you could see and taste little clumps of crabmeat, you didn’t really notice the sea urchin, but I imagine that it melted in, adding thickness to the sauce, and that the whole would not be right without it. Every drop of flavor clung to each perfect piece of pasta so that nothing was wasted and nothing more was needed.


Lon’s Lobster Fra Diavalo with a zucchini involtini was perfectly good, but not as impressive as other dishes.

Astice Fra Diavolo

My Seared Octopus was incredible, tender with crisp edges. The mix of yogurt, ceci beans, pickled peppers (especially these), cucumber and watermelon made it refreshing.

Polipo alla Piastra

The Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is for two but it is the clear winner. The fresh seasonal ingredients can’t be beat, and the streusel is crunchy and substantial, but not at all greasy. It’s a huge portion that’s really enough for 4.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

We were a party of 5 so there were many other dishes but I can’t remember all of them well so I don’t want to misinform. I can say that everyone was very happy with the meal and for $59 per person (4 courses, not including beverages, tax, and tip), it’s the kind of place I want to take my parents. They will be happy about the food and impressed with the value.

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