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Manuel Coccaro, Manager of La Masseria, stands in front of the famous Manhattan restaurant.

Exploring La Masseria, A Famous Italian Farmhouse in the Middle of NYC

In the region of Puglia, a masseria is a large working farm. These traditional farmhouses were the inspiration for La Masseria restaurant. Since its opening, the restaurant has garnered award after award, beginning with Esquire’s award as one of America’s best new restaurants in 2005. La Masseria has been honored by Wine Spectator every year since 2009 for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world and among its other awards, La Masseria received the Concierge Choice Award as Best Restaurant in New York City Theater District.

Over the past 14 years, the restaurant has taken on iconic status and remains as true to its origins today as when it first opened its doors. The menu’s classic dishes use the freshest natural ingredients from the land and sea, while the simple, authentic style of cooking that is an integral part of the masseria culture, remains the cornerstone of the restaurant’s extraordinary dining experience.

Just as the right ingredients are necessary in the preparation of a dish, the three owners of La Masseria bring their own special blend of talents and interests. Pino Coladonato, executive chef and co-owner, grew up on a farm in Puglia. Today, fava beans, chickpeas and lentils are still core elements in many of his entrées. For La Masseria he has designed a superb menu that uses a wealth of traditional ingredients to evoke flavors and aromas of the traditional Italian farmhouse. “I remember the masseria food; it was simple, fresh and flavorful – it’s whatever the land or sea had to offer at that time. That’s what I want to offer people here, the best dishes that represent that authentic cuisine,” remarked Pino.

Peppe Iuele says of the guests of the restaurant, “I want them to feel comfortable, as if they are enjoying a delicious meal at a good friend’s house and I think we’ve successfully created that feeling here at La Masseria.”

Enzo Ruggiero’s passion extends beyond food to wine, always seeking the perfect pairing. “I have traveled throughout southern Italy to find vineyards producing a collection of lesser-known wines, like a Falanghina from Campania,” Enzo says. To describe the wine list of La Masseria as extensive is an understatement.

The goal of the interior design was to create a warm, inviting dining atmosphere reminiscent of a true masseria, which is both rustic and imbued with old world charm. Artful displays of antique farm tools are mixed with photographs from Italy for an outstanding blend of rural Italian style and nostalgia. It is the perfect setting for La Masseria’s exceptional cuisine.

The restaurant’s manager, Manuel Coccaro, is from Salerno, Italy. He is like the maestro of an orchestra, ensuring that each patron is greeted and made to feel like family. His passion is evident to all and strikes the perfect balance between warmth and intensity. You are immediately made to feel that your dining experience will be special and memorable. As a matter of fact, at La Masseria, it always is. Please ask for Manuel and tell him the Italian Tribune sent you.

La Masseria is located at 235 West 48th Street in New York City. For reservations call 212-582-2111 and visit the website at www.lamasserianyc.com.