On Peck Slip Street in NYC lies a little gem that offers unique Southern Italian coastal cuisine in an unexpected style. I had the pleasure of dining at Acqua Restaurant NYC where Chef Giuseppe blew me away with his charm, cooking style, and passionate presentation.

“Acqua celebrates the power of the sea and the freshness of its products by importing more than half of its fish directly from the Mediterranean Sea. We offer an extensive Raw Bar menu, seafood antipasti, primi and Chef Giuseppe’s famous hand-made pasta. The menu also includes composed fish dishes, whole fish preparations and a selection of meat and side dishes to round out the extensive offerings. A bright, open, warm atmosphere welcomes you inside the restaurant and takes you straight to Margellina in Naples. “– acquarestaurantnyc.com

When you enter the restaurant, it’s dimly lit and very intimate. It’s cozy yet spacious and slightly seductive with lights, dark wooden tables, and rustic finishes. The staff is very nice and knowledgeable about the menu as well as wine pairings, which I absolutely loved. Chef Giuseppe decided to surprise us by bringing out what he thought the best dishes were that express his Italian cooking style!

I started off with a glass of the Falanghina and an Oyster with Caviar. The saltiness of the caviar and creaminess of the oyster paired beautifully with this crisp and refreshing wine. Also enjoyed with a glass of this beautiful white wine was the Shrimp Cocktail dressed with a touch of lemon. Alongside the shrimp was also some Grilled Octopus and upon the first bite of everything, I could tell how fresh the seafood was here, and I knew I was in for an exciting dinner! After some seafood, I wanted to try a pizza and the Quatro Formaggi was the one that called my name. The house-made dough is topped with mozzarella, gorgonzola, scamorza, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses, and is absolutely one of a kind, out of this world, YUM!

Chef Giuseppe also makes incredible pasta, and his Gnocchi del Giorno (gnocchi of the day) which was Squid Ink Gnocchi topped with Mussels, Clams, Scallops, and Fish was delicious and comforting, especially since it was snowing out a few weeks ago when I dined here. To end the evening, I decided to try the Limoncello Sorbet which is a must-have! It’s sweet, but not too sweet and comes served with more limoncello!

If you want to visit this delightful spot in the historic seaport district, I absolutely recommend it. It’s a gem you do not want to miss out on with incredible seafood, great wines, and amazing service.