Above: Taranto (Puglia) native and New York restaurateur Fabio Camardi (left) with Paolo Cantele at Fabio’s Mercato Trattoria in Hell’s Kitchen, New York.
What a great surprise to discover such a wonderful authentic Italian restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, Mercato Trattoria (39th at 9th Ave.), in a neighborhood (the edge of the Garment District) not known for high-concept dining.
Just five years ago, there was nothing like his trattoria in the area, explained owner and gastronomic entrepreneur Fabio Camardi, who hails from Taranto (Puglia). A handful of old-school Italian butchers and delis were the only culinary outposts.
But when the New York Times moved its offices nearby, said Fabio, he could sense that the neighborhood was about to take off. And it did…
Above: Fave e cicoria, puréed fava beans and sautéed green chicory, a classic dish of the Salento peninsula in Puglia.
Today, after just a few short years his cozy tavern has been called one of the best restaurants in New York (Hell’s Kitchen) by Village Voice restaurant reviewer Robert Sietsema and has earned Fabio two “Bib Gourmands” from the Michelin guide to New York.
Above: Another classic of Pugliese cuisine, “tiella” (rice, mussels, and potatoes roasted in a cast-iron skillet). This dish was OUTSTANDING.
The enterprising Fabio is planning a new restaurant in Manhattan and there’s no doubt in our minds that its sure to be another sure-fire hit.
It seems that everything he touches turns to gold.