Aged Barolo and Barbaresco

All day brunch? It’s about as soft as soft fall in a children’s playground. So when we were seated at Maialino and were offered the all day brunch menu I was taken a back a little. We had perused their excellent wine list on line and keen to order a couple of aged things and dig in for a long lunch. A little lateral thinking is required but you can turn a soft, all day brunch menu into a rockin’, hard as Chuck Norris, long lunch experience.

Back to the wines. This joint has one of the best, aged Italian wine lists we have encountered and the pricing is generous. We lined a couple of Piemontese things from the 70’s next to each other. It was an interesting exercise in that the Barolo was masculine and Barbaresco feminine, just like we have read in books over the years. Reality is generally a different proposition with regards to this old dictum. Wines of the modern era seem closer in gender, with riper wines resulting is perhaps less detail than once may have been. A 1971 Renato Ratti Barolo ‘Marcenasco’ initially smelt of smoked meats. It breathed up to show some fresh rose, black earth, sweet cedar, spruce, curry leaf, ginger and menthol notes. It still had decent structure in the mouth and went quite truffley in the glass as it took on air. The finish has some balsamic like volatility. A 1974 Castello di Nieve Barbareso ‘Santo Stefano’ was in remarkable condition. It was so bright with red berry fruits pinging around nostrils and gums. It was really floral, with an ethereal perfume. It’s a little bit tart. It’s a little bit mineral. It’s a lot bit shit hot. There was a strand of licorice weaving through the flavor profile and it had a gentle suggestion of truffle and cedar.

Our re-engineered lunch menu consisted of very good house bread. Provided by the house and not part of our engineering. Heidi and I turned a pasta option (only available after midday on the brunch menu) into an appetizer. Our braised oxtail with pasta was just the thing to ward off the cold on a bitterly cold New York day. It was rich and hearty, with fabulous flavor and the pasta was cooked to the minute. Lily and Patrick had Pappardelle with pork ragu. The meat was sweet and rich and some Grana Padano was shaved through the dish, giving it a creamy sweetness, expanding the dish with bad for you goodness. I was not hungover, but one of the great hangover cures is rare eye fillet with a runny egg. My main course of Bistecca with salsa verde and runny egg ensured that I didn’t have a hangover the next day and it was terrific. Heidi had what was listed as Pork Hash. It was roasted Suckling Pig, Potato, and Rosemary with a runny egg. It should be put on the lunch proper menu as it was terrific with both Nebbiolo.

Lily officially holds the record for best dessert of the trip thus far. Chocolate Pudding, Butterscotch, Puffed Rice & Panna was kind of like a chocolate mousse meets panna cotta with some adult coco pops on top for texture. Incredibly good. Patrick just ordered sorbet like he does everywhere. When we pointed out that he always orders ice cream he said ‘no, today he ordered sorbet’.

Coffee here is exceptional. Brunch menu only replaces lunch menu on weekends. Feel free to use our Brunch replacement menu. If you come here please leave me some of the reasonably priced aged Giacosa wines for the next time we visit.


What country/where is this place, Jeremy?

Holy crap! '71 and '74 Nebbiolo served at BRUNCH??

In New York Stuart.

Good prices on aged Barolo – would you mind sharing what price range that was?

Fun note, thanks!

Both a tad over $200ea Barry.

One of my absolute favorite restaurants in NYC, I’ve probably eaten there 100 times including breakfast / lunch / dinner. Maybe more.

Funny thing is I almost always bring wine, I’ve hardly glanced at the wine list. Silly, as I looked on line today and it’s outstanding.

Not just Barolo Peter. Gotta be one of the better Italian wine lists on the planet.

Thanks Jeremy!

Peter, I heard thefood went downhill after the chef left for Marta. Your thoughts?

Jeremy, what else did you notice that I should order on my next trip there (prob within the next week or 2).

Barry, I really haven’t noticed much, if any, decline. I’m always happy when I go there.

Peter, there’s some great old Gattinara on the list and 85 Tig’s a great wine and well priced. I’d like to try one of those old Mastroberardino as well.

Quick question Jeremy . The ratti in the picture below: is it the same that you had? Because it doesn’t seem to have the same wording as you described or on cellartracker.

nice lunch and welcome you our fine cold damp city


That’s a different vineyard in your photo. Jeremy had the Marcenasco. Your bottle is the Rocche dell’Annunziata.