Pino Luongo sat down at the table to join us. “Did you enjoy the pasta?” he began. Our immediate response was, “Absolutely.” The kitchen had prepared a few of Morso’s staple dishes for: the Pollo Martini, the Bucatini Cacio e Pepe, the Carciofi, and the Carciofi Fritti. Pino pointed between the latter two, explaining how, in focusing on using fresh, seasonal ingredients, he is constantly inspired to build several dishes around a single ingredient. Our bucatini was prepared before our very eyes in the kitchen, where the sous-chef spoke of a camaraderie driven by ideals set with Pino’s presence. It is no anomaly to find Pino in the kitchen most nights, getting his hands dirty and making sure each dish comes out the best it can be – which, we learned, of course means “always cooking the pasta in with the sauce.
The menu offers dishes available as morso (smaller servings), or tutto (full size).The result is incredible food, cooked with care and precisely seasoned.Here is a place you are going to want to return to again and again.Affordable, excellent and run with style and panache by a hands on Pino Luongo, who after all, is a legend in his own right.
MIDTOWN— Flo Fab reports that Pino Luongo, owner of Centolire on the Upper East Side, is opening a restaurant at 420 East 59th Street in the spring. It will be called Morso.
The name of the restaurant is “Morso” which translates to “bite”. Genious idea. Perhaps the nicest thing about the menu is that most of the dishes are offered in two sizes: morso (bite) and tutto (all). There’s a bit of pop to the restaurant as well. Walls are covered in poster art that hits a Warhol meets Fellini feeling.
The restaurant is elegant without feeling stuffy. The mod-style graphic designs adorning the walls are fresh, modern and playful which sets the mood perfectly for the evening’s meal.I enjoyed every last bite at Morso and recommend it heartily. If you find yourself on the East side of Manhattan, make your way over.
Morso is a culmination of a life in food and a passion for culinary excellence.With the essence of his homeland at heart and a truly original style of cooking, Luongo shaped the Italian menus and restaurants we consider as classics today.
The Latest From Pino Luongo: The location, 420 East 59th Street, has plenty of history. It had been the luxurious Palace, then the first edition of Sandro’s, then Bouterin and, very briefly, it was a Turkish restaurant. Next spring it is to become Morso, a new Italian restaurant from Pino Luongo, the owner and frequent cook at Centolire on the Upper East Side. For his new place, Mr. Luongo, who once owned Tuscan Square in Rockefeller Center, is looking back to Le Madri, his restaurant in Chelsea.
Southern Italian and Mediterranean dishes at this new Upper East Side restaurant come in large (tutto) or small (morso) portions. Chef Timothy Ryan previously cooked at Bouley, Picholine and Le Cirque.
Each meal was perfectly paced by a courteous and well-versed wait staff, and unfolded in an airy and elegant dining room accentuated by mood lighting and a blithe décor inspired by 1960s Italian poster art.
Pino Luongo (Centolire, Coco Pazzo), New York’s original champion of Tuscan cuisine, will debut Morso, his first restaurant in nine years, on September 30. Bridging the gap between nibblers and big-ticket diners, the toque takes a novel approach to the menu, dividing it up by main ingredient (vegetables, meats, poultry) and offering the majority of the dishes in large (tutto) or small (morso) portions.
Morso, in its bright conviviality and focused menu, is a winning contrast to the faux-rustic trattoria style of the past couple of years, and the food, while straightforward and traditional, has small touches that make big differences, not least in the perfect al dente tenderness of the pastas, which so many NYC Italian restaurants continue to botch.
I am usually disappointed by Italian deserts, but Morso delivered one of the best slices of cheese cake I’ve ever eaten – and I’ve eaten a few. For those who live on the Upper East Side and are always looking for a wonderful post-movie or after-work place to go, your wait is over. Morso is a keeper.
The restaurant gives off a cool modern vibe in an effortless way. Morso truly is fabulous. It is a restaurant with sophisticated dishes with fresh ingredients. The décor is warm and inviting. The staff was very friendly on both occasions and I look forward to returning soon.
An under-the-radar Italian joint dubbed Morso quietly opened in Midtown East where, as anyone familiar with the ‘hood knows, a solid new restaurant is a very welcome addition.The menu, which is quite large, will feature traditional options like osso buco and steamed mussels with garlic and chorizo. A 70-seat alfresco space will open in April 2012 and feature views of the Queensborough Bridge and the trams to Roosevelt Island.