Located in Midtown, on Madison between 37th and 38th, Piccolo Cafe feels more like it’d be at home in TriBeCa or the West Village. Rustic reclaimed wood and faded Italian newspapers line the walls, and a few vintage knickknacks make this a small and very charming space. A nice antidote to what seems like the sprawl of blandness that seems to dominate in the Midtown food scene.
There was a great international flair to the Piccolo Cafe, as the chef in the back was speaking Italian, the server up front had a lovely Australian accent, and the other people in the space were from Spain and Italy. The cafe features an Italian inspired menu, and I had the “The Works” egg sandwich, which came with egg, tomato, greens topped with balsamic, on a nice country white bread topped with an olive tapenade. I have to say, I wasn’t a fan of the olive — it made the sandwich fall apart, and I wasn’t too keen on the flavor by the end. Next time I’d just get “The Works” as an omelet instead.
The menu also features various paninis and pasta dishes, which looked like a good option, in portions that were just enough. I took a peek at the table next to me and the gnocchi looked quite good. The sandwiches and pastas range in price from about $8 to $10. I also got a latte, which was exactly how I like it — smooth and rich, with a nice creamy aftertaste.
Not too far from Bryant Park, I’ll be back here in the near future.