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Costata, Italian Steakhouse - Chef PJ Calapo on Spring and Sullivan Street in SoHo

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Ventured out to Costata last night. Costata is a part of the AltaMarea empire, and is marketed as an Italian Steakhouse, as Costata apparently means Ribeye in Italian. The space is at the corner of Spring & Sullivan in Soho (despite it being identified as in the West Village on Opentable), diagonally across from Dominic Ansel's shop. The restaurant takes up four floors of a five floor townhouse, recently renovated to include a glass elevator in the front of the house. The basement houses restaurant offices, a glass doored wine room, and restrooms. The first floor houses a bar and table space, as well as the hostess stand. The second floor contains another bar and more table space. Unsure of the third floor's layout, and the fifth floor apparently contains a dentist's office (?). All in all, a very pretty space, and I can't imagine the cost of renovations.

PJ Calapo is manning the kitchen here, and is turning out a rather lengthy menu, encompassing at least half a dozen crudos, another half dozen (at least) each of appetizers, pastas, and entrees "“ aside from the steaks and side orders. The specialty of the house seems to be the shared steaks for two or more, which include a Bistecca Fiorentina and a Tomahawk Rib Chop, as well as large langoustines priced per piece.

I was seated upstairs due to a private party taking place on the first floor. Looking over the menu, I decided to have a glass of rose and my first softshell of the summer. I was presented with a fried jumbo softshell of uncertain provenance, split in half and served with shaved fennel, calabrian chilies, and preserved lemon. The softshell was excellent, with minimal breading. However, I really enjoyed the combination of the shaved fennel, chili paste, and lemon "“ so much so that I ate the softshell by itself, then the fennel, chili, and lemon together.

I wasn't much in the mood for a large steak, so I ended up taking the server's recommendation for a pasta course, which was the garganelli alla fiamma, which was garganelli pasta (potentially made in house but freshly made in any case) along with prosciutto, peas, and truffle cream. The pasta was excellent, if over-sauced. There was a cloud of parmigiano reggiano on top of the dish, so between the truffle cream and the cheese, this wasn't a light pasta, but I certainly enjoyed it.

Service was fine. Neither notably good nor bad "“ comptetent.

Between my appetizer, two glasses of rose, and the pasta I rang in at right around $70 pre tax and tip. Not exactly cheap, but one could easily spend much more here, particularly on wine "“ they have a premium by the glass selection delivered via coravin that had some pretty nice bottles at pretty nice prices.

Ultimately a fine meal in a very nice setting. I'd return, but will check out other spots in the neighborhood first.

<Edit> Guess I mentioned Coravin too soon.

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