The bagel place is around the corner and just up the street and it reminds me a lot of the local delis I knew growing up: Management not only not hiding their boredom, but showing it off. Sort of like Gene Wilder, as a disgraced doctor in an old Woody Allen movie, who, forced to wait tables in a Jewish deli, finally loses it one night and shouts to a demanding customer: “I’m a doctor, not a waiter!”
The bagels at Ess-a-Bagel are, despite the evident boredom, which contrasts sharply with the vigor of the Hispanic staff, really first-rate: Chewy and with decent crusts. The lox spread was OK, but unremarkable. I could have gone to Russ & Daughters, but it’s a train ride downtown and is it worth it when I can have their psychotically delicious salmon shipped?
Yesterday it was All Italian All the Time:
The wonderful Rubirosa, owned by the same family that owns Joe and Pat’s on Staten Island, and these thin crusted, perfectly baked pies are heavenly. Good local crowd. Bonus: They take reservations.
Nighttime: Esca, my favorite restaurant in NYC. Where Japan meets Italy. Yellow fin tuna carpaccio, matsutake and goat cheese “fondue,” and pasta with white truffles that the chef came to the table to shave.