I’m a total fan of Italian. If there’s fresh, oven-baked pizza, authentic pasta and an enticing drink menu of quality reds, I’m all yours. I was lucky to check out Sammy’s Trattoria with a friend this past weekend, and I’ll tell you right now that, for two girls treating themselves to some dinner, we had an absolute blast.
Located in the Mount Vernon area near Penn Station, Sammy’s Trattoria is a place that one might easily miss. It is a small, charming restaurant at the corner of an intersection, close enough to campus that one can even call a Blue Jay Shuttle to get there.
However, what was most notable about my experience at Sammy’s Trattoria was surprisingly not the food but the culture. Every restaurant has its own vibe, and most of the time, people choose where to eat based on the aura of a place.
My friend and I had reserved a table for dinner, thinking that it was going to be a semi-classy experience with small portions of food. However, it was almost the opposite — in the best way. I’ve honestly never felt more welcomed than I did here, as if I was entering a little family. The waiters were absolutely delightful. They consistently checked in with us and made it clear that they were also having a good time working there.
The restaurant itself was extremely cute, cozy and made for a comfortable meal. There is a large bar at one end and an open kitchen at the other. Though the size of the restaurant made seating a bit tight, if you’re vaccinated, it’s definitely tolerable (they have outdoor patio seating as well).
The food was also a notch above satisfactory. I won’t lie and say that it was the best pasta I’ve ever had, but I honestly think it tasted better because we were having such a good time there. We left with only positive and warm memories.
My friend and I both opted for pasta; after all, if I wanted pizza, I wouldn’t have gone all the way there when (let’s be real here) Hop Deli is right around the corner, right? While she got the Pesto with Jumbo Shrimp, I ordered Penne Alla Carbonara because if there’s no cheese, then what am I doing with my life?
I was able to get a taste of my friend’s as well. As a fan of pesto and seafood, I thought the slight shrimp essence mixed into the pesto was really good. Mine had pieces of Italian sausages and bacon inside. While I did not consider it as tasteful as the shrimp pesto pasta, and it obviously isn’t vegan or vegetarian-friendly, if you like cheese and meat, then definitely give it a go!
In total, the prices were average for a nice dinner out. I definitely recommend Sammy’s Trattoria for those looking for an authentic Italian restaurant.