Bianca, one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the city, is absolutely amazing plus most dishes are under $15 and bottles of wine go for $24. Since they don’t take reservations and the wait can get long, they have a great deal worked out with the bar next door Von. Put your name on the list, go next door to get boozed up, and the restaurant will come retrieve you once your table is ready.
The salads are standard, satisfying and easy appetizers. The fried artichokes are buttery and crunchy. The main reason I’m obsessed with Bianca is because of their Shellfish Stew aka Bouillabaisse. The light tomato broth is overflowing with pieces of fresh fish, scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari and large pieces of buttered bread that gets a good sogginess in the bowl and is perfect for dipping. The fact that it’s only $15 and perhaps better than Balthazaar’s Friday Bouilabaisse special ($39) is mind blowing. The amount of fish to soup almost seems never ending and exciting. I could easily pick this as one of my favorite dishes in the city, and it will always be very memorable and nostalgic. Get it. You can high-five me later.
My friends rave about the Lasagna and it looks like everyone at Bianca knows it’s no hidden secret. The Taglioni ai Fruitti di Mare Pasta with seafood is also fantastic. All of the pastas are handmade because let’s get real, if you aren’t making your own pastas these days what are you good for? Kidding, but it’s pretty standard. I wouldn’t recommend trying to sit down with a big group here on a Friday night. There is one larger table in the back that could seat a group of 5 or so. You can get a table for two on a Sunday night in no time.
Bianca feels like a home with curtains on the windows, an open kitchen in the back, dishes on the white walls and it is very cozy. However, the tables and chairs are packed in and the staff is weaving in and out delivering plates that it can be a bit busy and bumpy at times. What’s new though, right? The staff is all European with accents that are far from Italian, but they sure do serve up some amazing red sauced plates. When you need that hearty plate of pasta that you can count on to be consistent, warm and comforting, Bianca is your girl.