East 12th Osteria

east 12th osteria nyc

As two sisters who work together, we also love couples who work together. Enter Roberto and Giselle Deiaco, the uber-chic, uber-Italian couple behind East 12th Osteria, the gem of an Italian place that may just be NYC’s best kept secret. We chatted with the two on all things food and most importantly, pilfered their Osso Bucco recipe

Your ideal food day from start to finish… 

Roberto: We both like relaxed, slow food days, preferably in the wine country: Napa, Alto Adige or Tuscany. To be amidst the sheer beauty of rolling vineyards, and, more importantly, plenty of Michelin-star restaurants, is our kind of ideal food day.

Giselle: We used to have a place in Yountville, Napa, when we were producing wines (pre-restaurant owner days) and I still remember one ideal food day in late October 2007. We woke up early, crossed the street to pick up coffee and croissants at Bouchon. We just finished the harvest, and only had a dinner reservation planned for the night, so we decided to treat ourselves to a day spent poolside at The Carneros Inn, where we had a bigger breakfast at the hilltop cafe. A bottle of HDV chardonnay and our own hand-carried Salon champagne (Napa restaurants graciously allow BYOB) sustained us while lazing by the pool. Around noon, we had some very strong coffee and I was craving dim sum. It took us a mere thirty-five minutes to reach the Golden Gate bridge, for a late lunch at my favorite Dim Sum spot, Yank Sing. Then we picked up some Cowgirl Creamery cheeses and Acme Pain Levain before making the drive back to our home in Yountville, slept for a couple of hours, and woke up at 8pm to get ready for dinner at 9:15pm. We walked the four streets to French Laundry for dinner, which lasted past midnight.

Three easy Italian go-to recipes in under 20 minutes…

Roberto: Prosciutto and Burrata, Gaeta olives and crunchy artichoke salad. Risotto, any style, takes 12-15 minutes. Scaloppine with lemon and capers.  

Restaurants you love besides your own…

Roberto: Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia in Milan, and Ristorante Da Lorenzo in Forte dei Marmi for terrific seafood. Here in New York City, Le Bernardin for lunch (since we can’t leave the restaurant at dinner), and the special custom-made menu at Sushi Seki, which is open until late for chefs.

Favorite ingredient for authentic Italian cooking…

Roberto: Great, small-batch extra virgin olive oil and all sorts of citrus fruit.

Worst ingredient people use in Italian cooking…

Roberto: Cheap, canned plum tomatoes and cheap dried pastas.

Favorite menu items at East 12 Osteria from each category…

ANTIPASTI/CRUDI: Mediterranean Scampi (langoustine), Portugese Octopus, and Big Eye Tuna from Mazzara.

PRIMI : Any of our homemade pastas made from organic, unbleached flours.

SECONDI: Potato-Thyme Crusted Lamb Chop Stuffed with Young Goose Foie Gras

DESSERT: Champagne Grape Semi Freddo

Best wine pairings at East 12 Osteria…

Giselle: Frito di Mare (flash-friend langoustine, calamaretti, prawns, and octopus) paired with Cesarini Sforza Aquila Reale, a Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, and Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri — a current favorite of mine. And it’s not that expensive!

Tagliolini with Black Norcia Truffles and Alois Lageder 2007 Löwengang Chardonnay, or E. Pira Chiara Boschis (biodynamic) Barolo Cannubi, the ’08 – a very elegant wine

Red Angus Tagliata di Manzo with Luce Della Vite

In the same vein as the new black, what is the new potato of Italian cooking? 

Roberto: Inventive, modern-style techniques and presentation of food, without overpowering the freshness or quality of each ingredient.

*For Roberto’s Recipe for Ossobuco, Click Here

*Roberto and Giselle Deiaco, photographed at East 12th Osteria in New York City by Danielle Kosann.