Friends of mine have Met season tickets. When I said I didn't get to the opera often enough they promptly invited Justy and I to Capriccio with them. Sixth row aisle seats. swoon. But actually, these friends are amazing and I'd have loved spending time with them, opera or not. Sixth row or rear mezz.
More swoonworthy was our dinner at Lincoln beforehand. The space, an airy glass glaciery shard that rises from the plaza, is stunning. A literal glass house, these people should not throw stones. The kitchen, smack-dab in the middle of the restaurant, is also open/glass-walled which, kitchen-obsessed that I am, made it incredibly difficult to stay in tune with the conversation. We're being all adult-like and having conversations about education and driving up the PCH and all I can thing is "oooh, kitchen, so pretty! me want." You can't give me nice things, I don't appreciate them. The host was a gorgeous Cillian Murphy dark-haired light-eyed glass of water. It might be unfair to call anyone a host. He might have been the GM. It was hard to tell. Everyone seemed to be taking orders and running food and then bussing tables. The ultimate team effort. And and incredibly seamless one at that. Their somm I recognized as being from Telepan, still wearing the same muttonchops and plaid blazers.
Ordering was tough. They had crudo but also a fava bean soup and also octopus and also a beet salad. If they'd had morrels it would have been a closed case. All the things I might have ordered sight unseen were competing against each other. Entree choice was another dilemma of epic proportions. I'd gone with the fava soup (just because Locanda Verde isn't yet serving the fava bean crostini, and I sometimes consider summer-winter nothing but endless, lifeless months because of the lack of fava bean crostini in my life. Andrew Carmellini: I beg you, fava bean crostini soon! And can you tell Karen that if the corn budino comes back that I'd be eternally grateful and would pay her back in legal work should she need any? Also, your Mardi Gras dinner was FAB, my review here, but I digress).
So, entrees. I almost went with the lamb. But then there was the branzino. And then I ended up with linguini with dungeness crab and uni butter, because anything that has both butter and uni in it wins. always. Once I had it in front of me, I realized it was basically David Pasternack's spaghetti alla chittara. Benno's was a hint lighter, but next time I'd try something different.
Richard insisted on dessert so I ordered some sorbet (spiced pear and blood orange) but when Justy's tiramisu came I knew I'd made the wrong choice. Dessert portions were larger than they needed to be and of the dessert amuses, I only tried their little fig sandwich cookie. I'd maybe had too much foccacia and breadsticks (which are Jane's favorite, though she hasn't had the bread basket at Del Posto which is superior because it's served with rosemary garlic lardo. Lardo is another thing that always wins).
Service was gracious. We told them we were opera-bound and got a polite little fifteen minute warning so that we wouldn't be late. We drank a Brunello that was probably so expensive that I'd break into a sweat if I saw the price. Needless to say, I did not ask. After giving them a minute or two we reached for the decanter and finished it off, something that I new would mortify them and seconds later someone was coming by to apologize. It's not their fault that we're lushes, honestly.
I've got to write up Empellon, 5 & Diamond, Kin Shop, Elsewhere, Tenpenny and Periyali but I'm reviewing half of those for Gayot so maybe I'll just get lazy and link the reviews when they're up? Also working on something else for Capital New York (my latest piece on Del Posto here).
Not food-related: but saw Book of Mormon and loved it. Seeing Catch Me If You Can in a couple weeks and tossing in Avenue Q, and Lion King just for good measure because friends are in town.