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Best Gnudi

  • Falai

    68 Clinton St., 212-253-1960

    You may not have noticed, but we are in the midst of a gnudi craze. Gnudi (a.k.a. ignudi, nudi, or nudi ravioli) are what Florentines call the loosely packed spinach-and-ricotta dumplings that look like slightly overgrown gnocchi. They’re called gnudi ravioli (naked ravioli) because the poor little lumps are essentially doughless, like lost ravioli fillings with no place to call home. Which is not to say they aren’t delicious, and a major hit at hot spots like Del Posto and the Spotted Pig, where chef April Bloomfield has reinterpreted them as spinachless and sort of half-naked as opposed to the full-monty version. Places like Al di Là in Park Slope and Maremma in the West Village also serve gnudi, although they go by different regional names too complicated to get into here. The best classic gnudi, though, can be found at Falai, where chef-owner Iacopo Falai serves them five to an order in a pool of melted butter and sage. They’re impossibly light and airy—“a woman’s dish,” according to the chef—and lightly scented with nutmeg, each gnudo crowned with a dollop of cappuccino foam.

From the 2006 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine