La Follia. Location: Gramercy. 19th St. and 3rd Ave. Scene: Date Night or Group Night. Casual. Food: Italian. Fried Fontina Risotto Balls. Housemade Pappardelle with Braised Pork Ragu. Panini.
- Burrata, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Crostini (1st pic).
- Beets, Mint, Ricotta Salata, Pistachio (2nd pic).
- Baked Eggplant Parmigiana: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Sautéed Spinach (3rd pic).
La Follia is what this on the border of Murray Hill neighborhood needed – a casual, affordable and light Italian spot that’s actually worth going to with 25 wines by the glass. You can go to this wine bar and restaurant on a Friday night without having to worry about an hour-and-a-half wait at prime time. There are two separate rooms: one with a bar, high tables and a TV and then the dining room. Both are quaint and simple. The menu is composed of: Crostini, Formaggi, Antipasti, Insalata, Panini, Small Plates, Secondi and Pasta providing vast options and something for everyone. The portions were a well-rounded size especially for an Italian restaurant. The eggplant parmigiana is a signature dish and unlike most other eggplant parms in the city because it’s light and fluffy. It doesn’t feel too filling and isn’t heavily breaded or bubbling with cheese over the plate. Weirdly, I thought the spinach was one of the best things I ate that night and cooked perfectly. La Follia is hassle-free and easy, and feels satisfying and healthier than most similar Italian places. Just show up, get fed happily and boom your set!