The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when you mention Macy’s in New York City is the iconic American departmental store along Herald Square. Who would have thought that there is a fantastic Italian restaurant hidden in this American icon? Despite having gone to New York City every year for the last nine years, this is my first time dining at the amazing Stella 34 Trattoria.
Stella 34 Trattoria is located on the 6th floor of Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square. The restaurant has a very different atmosphere as compared to Macy’s. It has a slightly more contemporary vibes to it and I really love its modern and clean interior design. Celebrity caricatures donned the walls in the restaurant. I understand from my New Yorker friends that it’s impossible to get a table without a reservation at Stella 34 Trattoria on a regular day.
In order to have a variety of dishes, my New Yorker friends, partner and I decided to share our food. If I knew the food at Stella 34 Trattoria is so good, I would have a lighter lunch.
Celebrity caricatures donned the walls in Stella 34 Trattoria
We had the Di Verdure salad and Calamari Fritti to kick-start our appetising dinner. Although I’m not a big fan of cauliflower, the flowery kind vegetable seemed more palatable to me when it’s being mixed a generous fagiolini, golden raisins, pine nuts and crispy shallots. The different textures and flavours from the ingredients just exploded in my mouth. You might think it’s a rather complicated salad but the tastes come together perfectly.
Di Verdure salad
The Calamari Fritti is one of my favourites. My first impression of the calamari reminded me of the Taiwanese salt and pepper chicken. The golden squid rings had a similar flavour – a perfect blend of saltiness and spiciness. The calamari was crispy on the outside and tender inside. Personally, I would not dip the calamari into the spicy tomato sauce as the sauce would probably drown the calamari’s original flavour.
The Linguini Ai Funghi was executed perfectly. The gluten-free corn flour pasta was done al dente, cooked to be firm to the bite. The aroma of the mushroom enveloped the pasta evenly and every mouthful of the delectable pasta is such pure joy.
Linguini Ai Funghi
But the dish that stole the limelight was the Branzino, a wood-oven roasted sea bass “acqua pazza” served with Italian long hot peper, tomato, artichokes, caper berry and escarole. I’m not a fish person and never fancy a fish dish. But the deboned Branzino was done so perfectly that it’s hard not to fall in love with it. The fish skin was roasted till it was paper thin and crisp. The snowy fish meat was fresh and delicate, and the taste reminded me of my Mediterranean holidays where I dined by the seaside restaurant. Even though the menu says that this entrée serves two persons, it’s very easy for a fish lover to devour this fish on his/her own.
As for the dessert, I will recommend the Tiramisu. Instead of coating the mascarpone and egg mixture with a layer of cocoa powder, it was served with a piece of crunchy cocoa nib croccante. I love the crunchy cocoa croccante because it gave the traditional tiramisu a twist without altering its taste. Perfecto!
Stella 34 Trattoria is perfect for locals and tourists alike. They served great Italian cuisine and the prices are pretty reasonable. Judging from the number of celebrity caricatures on the wall, you can’t go wrong with Stella 34 Trattoria.
Stella 34 Trattoria
Macy’s Herald Square
151 West 34th Street,
New York, NY 10001, USA
Tel: +1 212-967-9251