Wednesday, May 30, 2007

eating well but hardly cooking

Maybe it's because it has yet again skipped directly from winter to summer, or maybe it's because life still hasn't settled down for me, but admittedly I haven't done nearly as much cooking as I would like to lately. That's not to say that I haven't been eating well. It's just that J-Cat and I keep eating out, which is something that we hardly ever used to do. I guess what kicked it off was my birthday last week, when we had a very nice meal at Cacio & Pepe in the East Village. The very next night was $12 Lobster Night at Wombat, and since most Tuesdays I have rehearsal, we hardly ever get to partake in that. But the absolute height of dining out happened this past holiday weekend, when we got a Zipcar so that we could do some large item shopping. We decided to make full use of it by going out for dinner somewhere we normally wouldn't go because we'd be too lazy to take the subway to it. We found an incredible Italian restaurant right in the middle of Clinton Hill, Locanda Vini & Olii. You would never think that one of the best restaurants I've been to in the city would be located on this quiet residential block in a Brooklyn neighborhood that's not exactly known for its cuisine. The space is an old drugstore, and they have retained much of the original structure of the space, complete with lovely wooden shelving and those awesome teeny little drawers that I guess they used to put pills in? Anyway, it is a charming space and made for a nice romantic setting. But obviously the food was the star. After almost three hours and 4 courses, we were pretty stuffed, but not in that sick way, in that perfect, satisfied, we-have-to-come-back-here-very-soon way. Here's what we had:

Duck & foie gras "salsiccia" with an apple, blackberry, and red onion compote
Gnocchi with tomato and basil
Braised wild boar spare ribs "alla maremmana" with canellini beans
Blackberry and lemon tart

"Piattino di primizie" (salad of fava beans, peas, arugula, mint, scallions, cheese)
Chive maltagliati "sagra della cipolle" with baby leeks, cipolline, cipollati & herb pesto
Marinated grilled lamb chops with radicchio "Trevisano"
Blackberry and lemon tart

All of this was washed down with Prosecco, cappuccino, and some fancy sparkling mineral water from the Italian Alps. So luxurious! I can't wait to go back, those marinated sardines are calling out to me!

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