We Visited Tucci in NoHo Historic District of Manhattan: Fabricated But Fun

Tucci nyc
Photo by Chris S.

We’re late to our reservation at Tucci, in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood. The hostess knows it, and she returns my sunniest smile with a rather frosty one. Nonetheless, we are quickly seated in the lushly cavernous basement in a corner table with a great view of the space. Obviously designed to feel bigger than it is, and obviously built to feel older and perhaps grander in that exposed stone wall kind of way, it still succeeds in giving an lofty, yet intimate, atmosphere. We are told the manager will stop and say hi, but they never make an appearance. We stop waiting and start deciding our culinary plan of action instead.

Tucci in NoHo Historic District of Manhattan
Photo by Chris S.
Tucci Manhattan
Tucci. Photo by Chris S.

Beverages at Tucci

I start with the Amaretto Sour, because it has bourbon and egg white and bitters, and I love all three of these things. The amaretto in use is full, juicy, and filled with cherry and apricot. The egg white tastes and feels more like aquafaba, and I later find out that they are, indeed, using a vegan egg white substitute.

Tucci review
Amaretto Sour and Bourbon & Ginger. Photo by Chris S.

My companion orders a bourbon and ginger and notes that it seems spirit forward (“Are they trying to get me drunk?”) but pleasantly spicy. Our second round includes a whiskey sour with more of the vegan egg white, which is fresh and citrusy if not a tad standard, and an old fashioned, excellently heady and aromatic. 


We choose one cold antipasti, the Brooklyn burrata, and one hot, the fried calamari. Both are more than good, with the burrata shredding delicately and harmoniously amongst the slightly spicy olive oil and fatty prosciutto. (My delightfully poetic companion says it’s “milkier than a dairy cow,” and he’s not wrong.) 

Tucci nyc review
Brooklyn burrata with prosciutto di parma. Photo by Chris S.

The calamari, however, is the showstopper, despite nary a set of crispy tentacles to be found. A surprisingly crunchy batter yields to a soft and supple interior, quite possibly some of the most excellently fried morsels I’ve had in awhile. Well seasoned, it is only improved with the addition of a bright lemon aioli, a vast refinement from the usual marinara.

This calamari deserves a strong dipping sauce to stand up to the almost tempura-like batter; the aioli is more than happy to deliver. “Insanely flaky and supple, almost melting in your mouth,” notes my partner in crime, and I am more than happy to agree.


Our pasta dishes comprise of the lasagna, made with pork and beef, and the casarecce alla boscaiola. The hot italian sausage in the latter is not exactly hot, nor are the morels particularly dazzling, but it is savory enough to satisfy. My companion, conversely, loves it soup to nuts, and goes back for seconds (and thirds).

He is endlessly complimentary of its cheesiness, the sausage flavor, and the parsley garnish. I highly suspect he managed to eat the only noodle with parsley garnish, because the dish remains feeling unfinished.The lasagna is unusually built, with both ground and sliced meat. Texturally intriguing, it also contains an odd gaminess whose source neither myself nor my dining partner can identify. I only taste it once, and when I go to dissect the dish, the flavor disappears. 

Tucci new york city review
Lasagna al forno. Photo by Chris S.


I have high hopes for the Iberico pork chop, and I think it’s mostly due to my fondness for undercooked meat that I am disappointed. My eating companion refuses to order it even a smidge lower than medium (“I was scared!”) and it arrives perfectly so. I don’t love it, but I appreciate the effort. The chops are cooked just right (if you like medium doneness), the same peppers that garnished the calamari are now sauteed with onions on the side, and the entire dish is pretty but almost unbearably bland. It had a fair amount of potential that unfortunately dies the minute it hits my mouth.

Tucci restaurant review
Iberico pork chop. Photo by Chris S.

The Delmonico ribeye, however, is everything I hoped it would be, and possibly even more. I order it rare, as any self-respecting meat-eater should, and it is beautiful. Tender and impossibly well marbled, with a satisfyingly deep sear and a mouthwatering aroma. The fat cap is crispy yet soft, and one bite reveals what my nose already knows – it is near perfect. The effervescent umami, combined with magnificently seasoned beef, melts in my mouth and I lose all train of thought until my half of the steak is gone. My companion sums it up best: “It was better than the pork for sure.”

Tucci restaurant nyc
Delmonico ribeye. Photo by Chris S.

A few qualms: the servers take the steak plate (with the jus!) as soon as it is empty. It would have mattered more if we had something to enjoy with the jus other than the steak. My second qualm is related: we had nothing to enjoy with the jus other than the steak. Any sides must be ordered as extra accoutrements, and both protein entrees only arrive with a small (read: two tablespoons’ worth) amount of vegetables. 


The dessert menu isn’t available online at this time, but there are five options presented to us by our server. We choose the bombolone and the berries with mascarpone. The latter is expectedly delightful; the mascarpone is lush and the culinary brainchild of an unsweetened frosting, whipped cream, and fresh cheese.

Tucci restaurant new york
Bombolones . Photo by Chris S.

The berries are the perfect contrast. The former is unexpected and wonderful. The dough is buoyant, and the mandarin orange creme is vibrant enough to allow the sweetness from white chocolate to shine without becoming muddy. We swipe each bite of bombolone through the berry coulis and shamelessly watch the generously stuffed doughnut puddle onto the plate. It is hilarious and ever so slightly sensual.

Berries & mascarpone. Photo by Chris S.

Final Thoughts

Tucci screams date night. Surprisingly, it also attracts large-ish groups of middle aged people who drink quite a bit of wine, get louder by the minute, and must have a lot of money to burn on all those entree + side combinations. We manage to witness both. The ambiance is manufactured enough for me to feel suspicious about the food, but if you stick to the classics, the food is actually pretty good.

Three Best Bites

  1. The bombolone: with a surprising (and messy) mandarin orange interior, this doughnut is both elevated and intimate.

2. The Delmonico ribeye: masterfully seared and seasoned, with a perfect fat cap and balanced jus.

  1. The fried calamari: the batter was stunning, the calamari was not a shred overly cooked, and the lemon aioli was bright and inviting. An absolute must try.

Bathroom Corner

The icons are toilets and urinals, which aren’t the best, but the interior of the women’s restroom is well lit, well stocked, and has hand lotion. In New York, it’s the little luxuries that count.

You can check out Tucci on Instagram.