Maybe cooking is

Tasting NYC

Posted on: January 25, 2010

I slipped up.  I don’t have any cooking stories for you today.  My weekend was filled with culinary delights, but it was more about travel and tasting.

With less than 48 hours in Manhattan, I was surrounded by good meals and good company.  A group of us started at Cucina di Pesce, an affordable Italian restaurant in East Village.  I had a fettuccine dish of shrimp, scallops, and crabmeat in light cream, paired with red wine (personal preference overrode the rule of white wine with seafood).   I don’t claim to be a wine expert, anyway.

Not all Italian restaurants are alike, some specializing in dishes based on geographical location and ingredients.  Cucina di Pesce ascribes to Northern Italian, my favorite.  The difference?  Cream sauces dominate Northern Italian recipes with butter, rice, corn and cheeses.  Southern Italian cuisine flavors pasta with olive oil, olives and tomato sauce.  Saracen influence is strong on the western side of Italy, where dishes contrast sweet and sour and infuse generous amounts of sugar in the sauces, while the east is rustic and restrained.  Refer to the book-soon-to-be-movie Eat, Pray, Love for a gluttonous account of Italian foods in Italy.

The night continued at Phebes – a bar at the corner of Bowery and East 4th.  It’s hardly morphed from the “Old Landmark Restaurant & Bar” established on the same spot over a hundred years ago.

Stephanie, Vanessa, and Ricardo at Cucina di Pesce

Me and Mallory

The kids at Phebes

In keeping the nostalgic theme, Mallory and I ventured to well-established Waverly Restaurant (really a diner) on Saturday.  A guy exiting said to us, “it’s the best-kept secret in the village.”  Cheap and fast, with a dark interior and waiters in black vests and bow ties, we stepped back in time.

Mallory and I couldn’t resist the Big Booty logo t-shirts on our cupcake run in Chelsea.  The bakery’s red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting has inspired me to attempt a cupcake recipe.  Stay tuned.

My Big Booty t-shirt

Back into East Village with the purpose of karaoke at Lonely Planet, we ended the night singing loudly at The Blind Pig.  We recovered the next morning with Stephanie over brunch at The Barking Dog.  (I was glad I didn’t see an establishment called The Dirty Rat.)

I’ll cook next week, I promise.

Quote of the week: “Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!” – Jane Austen

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2 Responses to "Tasting NYC"

Love, you look GORGEOUS in your pics! Miss you dear!

Thanks for making me famous in your blog. 🙂

An interesting note – several wine stores I have been to actually say the whole white wine + seafood combo is a gross exaggeration. Often a red wine goes fantastic with seafood or even a white goes well with beef. It all depends on the prep.

(See, I made a relevant comment. Rock.) 😉

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