Senso Unico Launches Four New Seasonal Dishes
Senso Unico, the undiscovered authentic Italian osteria nestled in Sunnyside, has just launched an exciting roster of new seasonal dishes for the fall.
Executive chef Vincenzo Garofalo's new additions to the menu include:
- Chestnut Gnocchi featuring homemade chestnut and ricotta dumplings with brown butter, sage and vin cotto
- Fettuccine al Pesto di Noci with four-nut pesto, mint and a light tomato sauce
- Ravioli filled with wild mushroom and butternut squash puree, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and a balsamic reduction
- Unico Schiacciata, grilled flatbread topped fig jam, speck, arugula and truffle oil
Senso Unico is an undiscovered Osteria nestled in Sunnyside, Queens, helmed by chef/owner Vincenzo Garofalo and his wife/partner Laura. The two met in Avellino, Italy and like something out of a fairytale fell in love. Determined to share their love and deep appreciation for authentic Italian cuisine with New Yorkers, they fulfilled their dream opening their own restaurant.
Chef Garofalo is an under-the-radar culinary force, who has cooked for numerous celebrities throughout his career including Andrea Bocelli, high profile political dignitaries and the late legendary chef Gualtiero Marchesi. He began mastering the artistry of cooking in his homeland of Italy, honing his skills at Michelin-starred Antica Osteria Nonna Rosa and Il Pellicano. Upon arriving in the U.S. with Laura, chef Garofalo went on to further develop his talents with the Maccione family at Sirio Ristorante in The Pierre Hotel and Le Cirque. As a creative visionary, he personally selects ingredients locally and makes everything in-house including the pasta and the sauces, using rice flour and panko, making the menu gluten-free friendly. His dishes are inspired by his mother and grandmother’s classic Italian recipes prepared with surgical precision and transports guests to Italy for an authentic culinary experience.
Chef Garofalo’s seasonal menu starts with a selection of Antipasti with highlights including the popular Italian street food that comes in a paper cone, Cuoppo, a light and crispy dish with fried fresh calamari, shrimp and vegetables with a fresh snap, served with a spicy aioli; Mozzarella Fritta, lightly breaded and fried pillows of buffalo mozzarella with his homemade tomato sauce; and a memorable Carpaccio di Carne, paper thin sliced seared ribeye with arugula, dressed with lemon and shaved parmesan cheese. A variety of salads are available as well including the traditional Insalata di Pomodori with vine and cherry tomatoes, red onion, mixed olives and basil, which is served with every meal in Italy. Chef Garofalo also crafts his own preserves in-house, creating the perfect cocktail snacks. These include pickled roasted peppers and mushroom confit, both served with fresh rosemary focaccia.
The pasta dishes take center stage at Senso Unico with a variety of inventive takes on the classics including the Calamarata Ai Frutti di Mare, a playful plate with artisanal ring pasta, clams, mussels, calamari, and shrimp, smothered in a decadent lobster and tomato sauce, which takes three days to make; Linguine Alle Vongole, homemade parsley linguine with clams, fresh tomatoes and white wine; and Fusilli Avellinesi, a dish from the chef’s hometown of Avellino made with fresh spiral pasta, pork sausages and dressed in tomato-truffle sauce.
The menu also features main entrees such as Parmigiana di Melanzane, a traditional eggplant parmigiana with homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil as well as a selection of daily seasonal specials including a variety of grilled or roasted meats and fishes.
Equally talented in the realm of desserts, chef Garofalo’s Chocolate Tiramisu and Beer Tiramisu (seasonal beers) truly stand out and beckons you to return for more; as well as a mouthwatering deconstructed Napoleon, beautifully stacked with layers of crispy filo dough, ricotta mousse, Amarena cherries, and pistachios.
Chef Garofalo’s seasonal menu additions for the fall include pastas such as Chestnut Gnocchi, featuring homemade chestnut and ricotta dumplings, brown sugar, sage and vin cotto, Fettuccine al Pesto di Noci with four-nut pesto, mint and a light tomato sauce, as well as Ravioli filled with wild mushroom and butternut squash puree, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and a balsamic reduction. Another fall addition is the Unico Schiacciata, a grilled flatbread topped with fig jam, speck, arugula, and truffle oil.
A carefully curated selection of fine mainly Italian wines are spotlighted at Senso Unico all available by the glass or the bottle. A number of signature cocktails is also a hit with choices such as the Senso Unico Martini, Tito’s vodka, blue curacao, lime, and white cranberry juice; Royal Blue, a color changing libation made with butterfly pea blossom infused gin, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and orange; and the Italian Connection, amaretto, Armagnac, and St-Germain. They also offer a selection of draft, imported, and artisanal beers.
Guests can take away the expertly crafted pastas and sauces made by the chef to create their own Italian dinners at home. The restaurant sells their pasta in-store, which is made with organic imported semolina flour and fresh eggs including Spaghetti Chitarra, Parsley Linguine, and Ricotta Gnocchi. They also offer their homemade sauces including Truffle-Tomato, Basil Pesto, and Beef Bolognese as well as their private label olive oil, vinegar and house marinated olives with Gaeta, Castelvetrano, and Cerignola olives that are marinated in lavender, rosemary, basil, and pepperoncino.