Po, unassuming yet romantic, sits on one of the most charming streets in New York City. And while Mario Batali may have helped place Po on the culinary map in the mid-’90s before he left for new ventures, with owner Steve Crane’s vision and passion, Po has persisted. It’s the kind of place diners flock to for the inspired, rustic Italian dishes. When you visit Po, definitely ask for a window seat: you’ll be able to watch world go by on Cornelia Street as you dine on homey pasta (spinach tagliatelle with ragu Bolognese, pappardelle with sweet corn and chorizo) and hearty entrées, including grilled pork chop with peach mostarda, porcini-crusted cod and grilled salmon with balsamic glaze. After 17 years (Po opened in 1993), Crane still loves what he does, and it’s evident in his enchanting restaurant.
Haute Living: What is new at Po?
Steve Crane: Our produce farmer, Guy Jones of Blooming Hills Farms in Hudson Valley, is supplying us with incredible organic produce that always keeps our menu fresh and exciting!
HL: What are some of your favorite dishes at Po?
SC: My perfect summer meal at Po would start with our beet and carrot crudo and pistachio crusted goat cheese, then I’d dive into our linguini vongole, with fresh cockles, pancetta, red chilies in white wine. As my entree, tender veal milanese, served over insalta tricolore, with a dollop of caper lemon butter. And of course finish with a Po Sundae and an espresso!
HL: Where do you like to dine when you’re not working?
SC: At my good friend, Chef Scott Brian’s restaurant: Apiary on 3rd Avenue in the East Village.
HL: What’s your ideal meal?
SC: Grilling at the beach with good friends and good wine.
HL: Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
SC: For a special occasion it can’t get more special then making a candlelit dinner at home.
HL: What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood?
SC: The West Village, where I live and work.
HL: What do you like to do in the city on your days off?
SC: Hit the Union Square Greenmarket, and try a new lunch spot.
HL: Your favorite vacation destination?
SC: It’s a toss up, depending on the time of year: Costa Rica and Italy.
HL: What’s your most memorable meal?
SC: La Tour d’Argent in Paris
HL: What are your five favorite ingredients?
SC: Extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme, sea salt, cured pork and lemon