Friday, April 13, 2007

Where my guidos at?

As a Californian I always had this sneaking suspicion that I had never had good Italian food. Even when I had what I thought to be great Italian food in California, I always somehow knew that it would never be as good as what I was going to get in New York. Needless to say, I have set the bar pretty high for NY's Italian eateries.
The first week I was in NY looking for a job, Rachel and I went out for Italian food, and I was pretty disappointed. I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but don't go there. (that's helpful, I know) We ordered broccoli rabe for an appetizer and it came fried into a little charred tumbleweed. It was greasy, it was gross, and it tasted like charcoal. You can fry most things, even Twinkies, but not broccoli rabe apparently. My entree was a little better, and though I was excited to try desert, small Indian women rarely indulge in such frivolities, so we skipped it.

Last night was my second experience with Italian food in NY. I went to dinner at Bottino. It was a cute little place on 10th Ave between 24th and 25th. The company was great, the olive bread was fantastic.
I started with an asparagus and parmesan salad, which was delicious. For my entree I had the lobster and rock shrimp was good, but not great. I asked the waitress for her input on desert, should I have the bread pudding, or the pecan tart? She recommended the pecan tart, and though the ice cream that accompanied it was delicious, the tart itself was hard, and a struggle to eat.

Am I doing something wrong? Clearly I am. I mean, all this good, but not great Italian food. Am I in the wrong part of the city? I found great falafel in Brooklyn, great muffins at the bakery around the corner, great coffee, great everything else.

Maybe the great Italian places are reserved for Italians. I can't wait until my last name is Petitti and my Italian peeps are like, "Oh, she's one of us." Then they will teach me the secret handshake and lead me down some shady steps which lead to the most fantastic Italian restaurant in the world. Lots of fat women with aprons serving up trays of lasagne and telling me that I'm too thin and I need to eat more.

Ah...until then I'll just need my brother to come visit me. He not only is Italian (different moms) but he looks it. If he slicks his hair back and puts on a suit, it makes you edgy, like someone is going to make you an offer you can't refuse any minute. The NY Italians will clearly give him the 411 on where to go for the best food.

1 comment:

firstratekate said...

Try Al Di La in Park Slope, and in Manhattan: I Coppi, Lupa, Babbo, Otto, Supper, Del Posto, La Mela... just ask Jeff.

- Kate