We had a table but I saw two bar seats, stopped John (the bartender) to ask if they were taken and planted my butt down when he said they weren't. The bar is ALWAYS better than a table. I don't care where you are, this is a rule of life.
Oh, y'all. I should have taken a photo of the menu tonight at Locanda Verde. Mostly because I took a cursory glance, saw that there was two of everything and looked at Ted to say, "Of course we get one of each." He responded, "Of course," and that was that.
We had an artichoke soup with some kind of mushroom and a dabble of some kind of cream with white truffles shaved on top. We had steak tartare with white truffles shaved on top. We had the usual focaccia with rosemary and truffle oil. There was a delicate ricotta ravioli with white truffles shaved on top. See the pattern here? We had a spinach pappardelle with walnuts and white truffles shaved on top. For dessert we had some kind of honeyed cake with white truffles shaved on top with a vanilla bean cream and a sorbet which Ted ate all of but which looked like it might have been made with pineapple? And also a truffled gelato that had white truffles shaved on top and also maybe a cherry (which, again, Ted ate). He drank Verdicchio. I had the Falanghina. We left with what felt like the permanent taste of truffles in our mouths. SO GOOD.
I should also mention that Andrew Carmellini is blogging. Blogging gorgeous photos with bits and pieces about his new place that I'm highly anticipating because I think it's more fun to run a place in a restaurant not owned by some celebrity and huge corporate backers. I trust his taste and his vision and it'll be great to see him run a bit wild.
We stopped into Smith & Mills next because they make a damn good Dark and Stormy, muddling all the ginger so that it's in itty bitty pieces that you suck up through your straw and get to chew on and it's sweet and spicy and all sorts of lovely.
I walked by the police stable on my way to the train and saw a stocky man showing a horse into his cubby. He held up a single index finger, letting me know it would be a minute and dragged the big tawny guy my way to say hello. I gave him some pats on his long white nose. He was wet. "He's just had a bath," was the minder's explanation. The horse, a boy, was fidgety. "I just gave him his dinner but brought him over to say 'hi' so he's telling me he's hungry." I gave him some long strokes along his cheek and the man caring for him brought him back to his carrel. The man's name was Daniel. He's from Panama but got his U.S. citizenship in 2006, though he'd moved here in 1990. He used to work on a farm in Panama. The police don't walk the horses around manhattan, but instead, bring them into boroughs and even New Jersey to navigate places that don't have paved roads. Daniel said the horses were treated well. He also said that horses at the racetracks are also mostly treated well. We both love Arlington, the horsetrack in IL that I grew up near.
A lovely end to a truffle-filled evening. Sometimes this city is so beautiful I can't even stand it.
A piece about raw beef with Mike Toscano is running on Esquire this week and I have a bit on schnitzel on a new site any minute. Will link them both when they show up!