By Jeanine Zelkas
Macelleria — which translates to “butcher shop” in Italian — has been around for some eight years, making it one of the earlier arrivals to the now restaurant-filled Meatpacking District. Billing itself as an authentic Italian steakhouse, Macelleria was converted from an old meat warehouse and remains true to its roots with original signage and black and white photos of old-time local meat packing characters dotting the walls. Antique lockers and porcelain display cases house the cuts of choice meat served in the restaurant. The brick-walled dining room is outfitted with cute butcher block tables and accessorized with meat hooks hanging from the ceiling.
Chef de Cuisine Carlos Simoes produces home-style dishes from a Northern Italian-focused menu that is limited and uncomplicated. The salad of bitter arugula, sweet slices of pear, and slightly salty mild pecorino cheese was a refreshing and well-rounded starter, elegantly displayed and finished with a light drizzle of olive oil and lemon. As with all the pastas served here, the pappardelle is made on-premises each day. These delicious homemade wide noodles paired beautifully with an excellent rich and chunky wild boar sauce. This was, unanimously, the favorite dish of the table. Prime-aged T-bone steak arrived perfectly cooked, sliced, tender, and with a nice essence of fresh rosemary. It was easy to tell that it was a good cut of beef. Chicken scarpariello was a comforting rustic style dish with chicken in bones, spicy sausage, mushrooms, and a light sauce.
Macelleria’s recently unearthed lower level is part of the original structure which was once a stone fortress. Now a lovely candle-lit dining area with an impressive wine cellar, it is a great spot for a private party. With its simple charm and consistent food, Macelleria offers a reasonably priced and unpretentious alternative in its trendy neighborhood.
48 Gansevoort St.