This Greenwich Village taverna prides itself on fresh, organic ingredients — all of their meat comes straight across the street from neighborhood stalwart Pino’s Prime Meat — and it’s all slowly cooked into rich sauces and deeply flavorful entrees.Finding a restaurant in New York City that fulfills all of our dining desires is like hunting for unicorns at the Bronx Zoo or seeking significant others with washer-dryers in their apartments. Both are exercises in abject futility, so it’s a good thing we can turn to a place like Da Marcella to feed us high-quality, authentic Italian dishes on the cheap any night of the week. This Greenwich Village taverna prides itself on fresh, organic ingredients — all of their meat comes straight across the street from neighborhood stalwart Pino’s Prime Meat — and it’s all slowly cooked into rich sauces and deeply flavorful entrees. Elegant seasonal specials round out the whole spread, while the atmosphere is unbuttoned enough that a drip of marinara on our new white shirt won’t ruin the evening. Our ideal spot to start exploring it all is at the back bar. It’s a front-row seat for the spaghetti westerns and Charlie Chaplin flicks playing on the TV, so there’s no need to make eye contact with anyone while diving into the Black Pepper Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu.
The best part? Everything is reasonable enough on the wallet that we can enjoy a couple bottles of vino and an extra dish of calamari without signing over our first born at the door. It all makes for the type of proverbial neighborhood gem that earns such a shimmering title. One of the brightest examples is the house special, the Tagliatelle Bolognese. When the owners first opened the doors at Da Marcella, they invited New Yorkers in for a free plate of the classic pasta. The offer was simple: try your first serving free and you’ll keep coming back for more. It’s a lofty claim, but when that claim is backed by fresh durum wheat noodles and a thick veal- and pork-based sauce simmered for 8 hours in-house, then it’s a safe bet to say NYC will be back for seconds.
Polpo Marinato Alla Griglia, $12
‘Carpaccio’ di Rape con Feta Greca, $10
Tagliatelle Bolognese, $10
Costa di Manzo Brasata al Barolo, $19
Monday - Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Friday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Sunday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.