Having found little to whet my appetite where I live, I headed to Manhattan for monthly sustenance. The report, blow by blow, follows.
Friday, March 19th
The afternoon began with a cold Italian beer at Alfredo’s on 49th & 5th. Food here is not worth mentioning although the soup is good and if you like huge portions, I don’t, this could be your place. It is a good, quiet place to meet a friend, which is why I was there.
A better bet, one of the best, in fact, is Lupa on Thompson & Houston. Thank goodness the restaurant is not in my neighborhood. I’d eat here twice a week. A perfect dinner of tripe followed by pappardelle with lamb ragu served by a very hip person in a room buzzing with good vibes. The tripe was insanely delicious.
Later that same night, nearing midnight, it seemed like a good idea to go to Sakagura to have edamame, fried chicken, and a favorite sake from Niigata. The restaurant is hidden in a basement on 43rd at 3rd. Dark room, very Japanese meaning discreet and lively at the same time. (One of my favorite places in town.) It was a good idea.
Saturday, March 20th
The usual: Toasted poppy with lox spread, black ice, and Tropicana, lots of pulp, at Pinnacle on 3rd at 46th. (The Tropicana always makes me think of grandma in East New York. A good thought.)
Lunch: My favorite restaurant on earth, Esca, 43rd and 9th. Omigod. We’re talking monkfish, pan seared and served with very cool watercress and wheat berries and then the first shad roe of the season. It came with pickled vegetables. (Dave said hello.) All good. Later, inspired by a friend’s tweet on the subject, we headed over to Nougatine in Columbus Circle for JG’s cheeseburger, which was crazy good.
Sunday, March 21st
See 3/20, Pinnacle.
What better way to celebrate the first day of spring than to walk from 46th & 3rd, where the apartment is, to Houston & 2nd? The old East Village…back in high school, I remember going to the Fillmore, seeing all the hippies. Coffee at Porto Rico on Bleeker and then lunch at Lil Frankie, where idiosyncratic staff in idiosyncratic digs serve one of NY’s best pizzas. The day ended at Citarella: Aged strip steak, little Yukon’s, and watercress, radicchio, and frisee.