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Friday, September 9, 2022

CAFE SPAGHETTI @126 UNION ST (NEAR COLUMBIA ST.)....EVERYTHING IS ELEGANT AND TASTY/TASTEFUL AND HOMEY

DO you   like really good pasta? A variety of sauces and gravies made with a deft touch? Generously sprinkled cheese? Moments where you could feel like you are on vacation in Milan or Florence?  A cool staff with knowledge and style (like Wilfred) or charm flavored hospitality(See Giovanna)? I know a place for you.

First, where do you want to sit: the most stylish outdoor seating patio I have seen anywhere; bar stools with backs; inside table; vast lush garden ? From our outdoor covered seating we could peer into the cafe

in a way that mades you feel like we were in it....not kicked to the curb. I was captured by the Gavi

before the rapture we felt from Caesar salad with subtle anchovy flavor and a not so subtle removable anchovy. Jeanne's watermelon, tomato salad with balsamic dressing was a choice to be repeated.

The cavatelli was balanced with zucchini and the ravioli with yellow tomatoes . Ravioli have been described as pillows before but this time I actually rested my head on these soft puffy light things...in my mind.


 
WATERMELON SALAD
                                                                 Garden 
                                                            Aforementioned Pillows
                                                          Cavatelli

                                                          
                                                                     This Caesar also conquered
                                                                          
                                                              watermelon and tomato
                                                                       Great Caesars ghost!



Tuesday, July 12, 2022

POPINA NYC..127 Columbia St., Brooklyn. (the garden of eating)









 Find the perfect cool evening and sit yourself down in a  neighborhood garden. And play bocce ball in the 3rd restaurant that I know of with its own bocce court.  Il Vagabondo (now closed) had a court on 62nd st where my children could watch through glass as they ate...and play. Parkside, in Corona Queens, had one outside the restaurant in a small park which was also across from the Lemon Ice King(made famous by Simon and Garfunkel  as the King of Corona). Also famous for Jeanne's and my wedding location. At Popina,  the court doubles as a sand box where children playfully explore the dirt and balls while parents drink wine and eat

food you might enjoy in Rome or Milan or Madison Ave.






Here you will feel you are sitting in a large back yard near the Brooklyn waterfront across from the lower manhattan skyline. Last night the breeze was not the only thing that was cool. So was the warm sour dough  filone...and the muscles in a corn broth so tasty that it could have been my soup dish. Jeanne's arancini echoed the bocci ball theme and unlike the game balls were a tasty treat. Drinks included a Bklyn Beer without alcohol and an Albarino white wine. That glass was topped of by Brian, the server, who in everything he said and did modeled hospitality and made us feel he loved food and people.  He explained the extra wine by saying "I felt you were waiting too long for your muscles." Shrimp(crispy and tanned) and grits(creamy and lush) deserved applause). Misticanza was a strawberry laced salad that also scored.



                                                        


                                                                        







                                                         



                                                          SHRIMP ANND GRITS

MUSCLES are from a Long Island Island




                                                                                                                         STRAWBERRY SALAD













Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Terra 200 Connaught Drive. Jasper, Alberta,Canada

We didn't know the town would celebrate  Canada  Day  and given all the concerns about covid not sure how long Jasper knew they would. They did inn grand fashion. Our first clue was seeing the masses rushing to reach the route for the parade. At 330. we were hungry and not feeling the urge for fried fast.

In the distance i could see the sign TERRA. Land! Farming? Veggies? Jeanne would love it (if the clue didn't bring us to a plant store. Got to this place run by a company called Pursuit. It was a restaurant and a new one, but there was a "closed" sign near the dining area. I asked anyway and was pleasantly surprised to learn opening was minutes away. Adding joy was the menu. Jeanne's favorite: fried green tomatoes.

The table was prime with a window view of the street and mountains and passing freight trains. Corn ribs= cob quarters mopped in butter and  cheese.








Hot Sour Dough
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    CORN RIBS


                                                 Fried green tomatoes don't count as fried food.
                 Fried green tomatoes don't count as fried food.


                                             Two photos above show Kohlrabi  a root vegetable that was new to me...

                                              not Jeanne. It was firm and absorbed the sauce and creamed cauliflower                                                  nicely. Still working on a terra firmer joke. Will get back to you.




This photo is the second in a series I call "Do I miss full time work?"

THE NASH ; 925 11 St CALGARY; RESTAURANT AND OFF CUT BAR....a Canadian Treat with a style that evokes Nashville

 Jack was right. This was the place. Jack Gardner is my Canadian nephew-inn-law whose most memorable

line at  his wedding to Meryl as he was crying through his tribute...was a fast aside, "I eat Quiche TOO!" 

Even then I new this hockey player had a soft spot...and always had food on his mind.  A 15 minute taxi

brought us from the center of town to a suburban community called Inglewood.





Burratta 
Little Gem

yam and chickpea

                       Local Rainbow Trout





3 scoops:Lemon and caramel and I forget
The service was top notch including a kind few checkins from the chef's spouse/restaurant manager. I particularly appreciated  wait person Greg who when I asked him about the meringue like Pavlova that accompanied the scoops, and whether he thought Pavlova also had a dog...like Pavlov.....could have grimaced but instead said, "I was thinnking that but was too afraid of your reaction."

Sunday, June 12, 2022

BROOKLYN HIGH LOW ...TEA 4 TWO OR MORE....611 VANDERBILT AVE

JEANNE's thoughtful planning fo a birthday weekend included a card that said "You are not getting old; you are old. "  And yet she brought me to this fantasy island that made me feel like thirty years later we were on our first date.  I think I had my first high tea at the Plaza. Later my mentor and friend Bertram Beck told me we should meet monthly but not at a bar. We did tea all over town. Not since then had I done high tea. Even in London we skipped the chance because of cost. So this was special, and I wish Bert were still here so I could show it to him. Every inch of High Low revealed a collector's fine eye. Those who were at other tables included a Grandma,, Mom, and 2 daughters. Six friends sat in another comfortable grouping.






                                               HAPPY ME
                                                           Teacups chandelier
                                               tea menu;  JR had Scottish Toffee and I had Orange Blossom
                                                3 tiers from pimento or cucumber or smoked salmon or

                                               quince. up to scones and the peak deserts...thick dark chocolate strawberries 

                                                 and cream puffs.

                                                 


                                                               LIGHT AND AIRY SCONES
                                       TEA SANDWICHES...VEG FOR JR ..STANDARD FOR ME





 The music seemed to begin in the 20s and 30s and moved on almost to nowadays. 

Each aspect of the service had a more of a new friend than a server responsible and responsive.

I felt so indulged ("I am not worthy...I am not worthy")...O, NEVER MIND.