Saturday, April 3, 2010
I'd like to take credit for actually taking this picture (for once!) A relatively rare thing on this blog. Anyway, last night Ry & I went on a date to what is probably my all-time favorite spot in all of NYC. Yes, grand praise. We've been coming here for almost as long as we've been dating, and it never ever disappoints. I've brought my mom here, friend after friend from out of town, and my Aunt & Uncle most famously last summer. It rocks everybody's socks, so I hope it rocks yours, too. Why the italian meat and cheese counter? Because it might as well be in italy- the food is imported by the owner, along with the wine, on a weekly basis.
The interior of the restaurant is like a cozy italian kitchen, but we prefer to go when the weather is nice and sit outside. The wine menu is extensive and fabulous- ask the owner, (ie the cute bald guy with the killer italian accent), for some recommendations, and be prepared to be blown away (both in taste and quality... and a little less pleasantly in price). Some highlights of past sampling include a fruity, cherry-forward red, and a verdicchio that was neon yellow and had flavors of pineapple. If you are new to italian wine or tend to stick to the boring varieties of pinot grigio (AKA "water") and chianti, then this is a great place to come explore. The menu includes vermentino, verdicchio, montepulciano, nero d'avola, and falanghina, all worthy of your time and taste.
As for the food... wow. As I mentioned previously, the wine is not the only import here. The mozzarella is fresh, soft and salty, with a slightly firmer outer crust. Somehow the tomatoes always taste like summer here, as does the basil. The meat & cheese plate is awesome, and is served with a house-made olive oil and rosemary bread/chip that is addicting. All the fresh, home-made pasta specials and sauces are insanely good, as are the crostini and the salads. I don't think i've ever tried the panini, but I bet they are good too... Even the desserts are delish...
I can only think of 2 complaints. They only take cash (sooooo over this, Brooklyn) and they may or may not charge you your first born child. But hey, after a few glasses- or bottles- of amazing wine, who cares??