Intrigued by reports of the new iPad wine list at SD 26 in Manhattan, I stopped in recently to check it out.
The restaurant is the new incarnation of Tony May’s Italian pioneer San Domenico, relocated to 26th Street on Madison Square. It’s a clean, modern room, with attentive service, and very quiet when I dropped in for lunch.
I chose a menu option called “Il Quadrofoglio” ($25), which is described as a “nutritionally balanced meal designed to provide all the necessary ingredients to stay energized through the remainder of your work day without compromising the pleasures of the senses.” It resembles a futuristic TV dinner: four small courses are served together on a sectioned plate under a plastic dome. My dish included a small salad with carrots, ravioli stuffed with ricotta, a fillet of sea bass over diced vegetables and some sliced fruit. Very tasty, and indeed light and digestible.
Another futuristic element of the restaurant is the electronic wine list, recently upgraded to an iPad presentation. I enjoyed tapping and scrolling to explore both the list and the device, and wound up selecting a glass of Fiano di Avellino from Feudi di San Gregorio ($16 for a generous pour). The white was rich yet stony, with a haunting floral bouquet, an excellent match with the meal. 89 points non-blind.
You don’t have to be a technophile to enjoy SD 26; there’s a station right in the dining room where a chef is preparing traditional cheese and salumi, all top quality. But I respect May for not resting on his considerable laurels, and for trying to push Italian restaurants toward the future. I hope he finds a responsive clientele.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Feudi di San Gregorio Fiano di Avellino 2008 (90 points, $23).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among Italian whites.