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Q & A with Chef Gabe Thompson

Q. What is your favorite thing to cook on your own menu?

A. The Risotto Alla Pilota (housemade sausage, salumi, pecorino romano) at dell'anima. I will never get tired of making that.


Q. Has your menu evolved as people have become more adventurous about eating various parts of animals?

A. At dell'anima, we have a lot of fun because a lot of our guests enjoy eating almost everything including tongue, sweetbreads, tripe, etc.

At L'Artusi, I tend to go a little less adventurous, but it’s still fun to see what people are willing to try.


Q. Is there still a part of an animal you’d like to put on your menu, but have resisted?

A. Veal brains -- I think it would be fun to do a play on some kind of classic Italian-American dish with veal brains. But, I think it would be a hard sell.


Q. Who are the purveyors that inspire your creativity and why?

A. D'Artagnan -- my rep Jack is always calling me about new stuff he has available and making me think of new dishes to put on the menu.

Q. Who have you worked with in the past that you learned the most from and what did you learn?

A. Even though I did not work for him for very long, I would have to say Morgan Brownlow. He was the chef of ClarkLewis (Portland, OR) when I worked there. He completely changed my food philosophy. His food was simple and clean. It was a turning point in my career and shaped the way my food is today.

Q. For the home-cook, what is the most important element in selecting a hard pasta?

A. I don't pay attention to the details too much. But, I prefer to use Setaro pasta, available at Buon Italia in Chelsea Market.

Q. Why do chefs love using pasta water to finish off pasta dishes?

A. Pasta water is starchy, salty and delicious. It helps emulsify butter sauces and thin out ragus, without making the flavor of the sauce flat.

Q. Is there something you always keep in stock at your home that you would advise a home-cook to stock?

A. Kosher salt, fresh whole pepper corns, lemons and good extra virgin olive oil.

Q. What are the least “chefy” and most “chefy” things you like to eat and why?

A. I don’t know what you mean by “chefy.” I tend to enjoy simple comfort food as opposed to fancy over manipulated food.

Q. What is your least favorite new culinary trend and why?

A. I like everything as long as it is done well, seasoned appropriately, and tastes delicious.

Q. Who else in your field is doing interesting things that you think should deserve more praise and why?

A. King Phojanakong of Kuma Inn and Umi Nom. His food is delicious and I could eat it everyday.

Q. Any exciting projects in your future?

A. We are opening a bar down the street from dell'anima. We will have a small menu of snack type food and a great wine list.


Chef’s Recs | New York City

Ssam Bar

Fuji apple salad with kimchi and bacon is worth multiple visits.

Il Buco

I trailed there about 5 years ago when Ed Witt was the chef and I really loved the philosophy behind the food.

Casa Mono

Fideos are slamming and the service is great.

Off The Beaten Track | Shanghai Cafe

On Mott Street -- the soup dumplings and sticky rice are amazing.

Late Night Spots

Blue Ribbon

Consistent food and flawless service until 4 am, 7 nights a week.

Plus: Spotted Pig, Daddy O's, dell'anima and Corner Bistro.

Killer Food That Won’t Break The Bank | Taim

Get the Sabich sandwich for $6 -- it’s  to die for.

Top Five Restaurants

Spotted Pig

I think the food there is perfect, it’s open late and they have the best dirty martinis in the city.

Casa Mono

They make food that makes me want to die in a food coma.


Everything they make is stellar. I wish I could eat there more often. It’s my favorite place in greater New York City. I like to order every “small plate” on the menu.

Fatty Crab

They are really great people making fantastic food and drinks. They have the best pork buns in the city.

Per Se

The best meal of my life was at per se on my wedding day. Everything was over the top-bad-ass and exceptional.



West Village

Italian Wine Bar

34 8th Avenue

New York, NY 10014 (view map)




West Village


38 8th Avenue

New York, NY 10014 (view map)




Mon - Fri: 12pm - 5pm

Sat - Sun: 11am - 3pm

Sun: 5pm - 12am

Mon: 5:30pm - 12am

Tue - Fri: 5:30pm - 2am

Sat: 5pm - 2am


West Village


228 West 10th Street

New York, NY 10014 (view map)




Sun - Wed: 5:30pm - 11pm

Thu - Sat: 5:30pm - 12am


dell’anima, L’Artusi, and Anfora - West Village - New York, NY

Q & A


Gabe Thompson’s recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in New York City.

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Details of Gabe Thompson’s recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop in New York City.

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