What is most apparent at La Pecora Bianca, the NoMad neighborhood’s new airy Italian spot, is a sense of balance. Dishes on this market-driven menu are as thoughtfully composed as they are procured.
With West Village Claudette already under his belt, restaurateur Mark Barak knows what he’s doing. The 85-seat space is breezy and bright by day, votive-soft by night, and puts its energy into il prodotto (the ingredient) rather than la tecnica (the technique).
Pastas are made in-house each morning from New York and Pennsylvania-grown organic grains (a gluten-free option, made with corn or rice flour, is available upon request). There are as many whole-grain options as the bulk section of a co-op, from curly gramigna, made from ancient einkorn wheat, red fife tagliatelle and emmer maccheroni. Pasture-raised meat comes from Hudson Valley purveyors and includes a blistered roast chicken on a bed of mushrooms, corn and pickled serrano chiles ($26).
Vegetarians, take note: Chef Simone Bonelli knows how to gild a lily without going too far, supporting seasonal vegetables in salads and side dishes with small doses of intensely flavored ingredients. Charred rainbow carrots arrive doused with sheep’s milk labne, coriander seeds, honey and hazelnuts ($8), and roasted peppers bathe in a pool of romesco ($8). Just as raw ribbons of zucchini, lovely on their own, become even more so with buttery marcona olives, mint and a snow shower of pecorino ($12). To order them, along with some country bread, is to want for nothing.