Did you over eat, over indulge, over do during the holidays?
Well, good for you! But we think you got off easy!
Our Over-The -Top list started way back in October during a trip to Manhattan,where we visited 13 food establishments in 3 and 1/2 days. We don’t mean just visited, we ate, we salivated and we lusted.We didn’t just snack ,we devoured, we savored, we cleaned our plates and exhausted our palates (and ourselves).
So what make us do such gluttonous dining? Memories… memories of our mother and father buying a new Italian imported cheese, stuffing razor clams, roasting red peppers , taking us to a seafood restaurant and placing a 2 lb lobster in front of us as toddlers – or something as simple as biting into a ripe tomato while still standing in the garden, salt shaker in hand. The simplicity of the taste, the beauty of the preparation, the experience of a new flavor. Manhattan is bursting with the opportunity for all of this to happen.
Since we cook Italian food, you’re probably wondering if we have any prejudices in what we like to eat. We Do! Fresh, clean, clear taste. It doesn’t matter if it’s Italian, French, Asian, American Greek or Middle Eastern. We love it all and want to consume as much as we can.
Our first thought in Manhattan was a trip to Torrisi Italian Specialties. Christine hesitated (actually moaned and groaned) to do this because it required standing in line at 5:00pm to snatch a table for any of the 3 seating’s in the small 25 seat dining room. Torrisi by day, is an Italian/American Deli offering the usual thought of sandwiches of Eggplant and Chicken Parmigiano. By night it features a $50 prix fixe menu. Still serving Italian food but with the chefs detail to authentic Italian product and their talent to keep things simple. This little gem takes us by surprise with it’s tiny but amazing bites. Homemade Mozzarella, Linguini with Little Neck Clams, Monkfish on Raw Marinara, and Tomato Braised Short Ribs.
On to the Spotted Pig, walking through the numbers on the street signs, burning the fullness from the last meal off, in order to indulge in the next.
If there is one dish that you always remember throughout the dinners of your life, the Ricotta Gnudi at the Spotted Pig would definitely be in the running. Gnocchi, Gnudi, Dumplings, we’ve eaten them all but nothing compares to the taste of these pillows of ricotta rolled in Semolina, cooked in brown butter and topped with sage pesto.
We can go on and on describing the food at every bakery, restaurant, gelatoria, and food shop we visited, every menu we read, every dish we didn’t have time to order because we needed to move on. Time was short, but 13 in 3 and 1/2 days… we’d say we did pretty well! Of all the food we ate, some was ordinary and some was extraordinary, but we wouldn’t have wanted to miss one morsel!
Here is our list of suggestions:
Torrisi Italian Specialties
The Little Owl
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
Standard Kitchen (breakfast)