So many of my relationships are formed around food. I have all of these experiences to write about, because I have so many friends to have them with, in different places and at different times, but strung together, all of these gastronomic moments weave a chain of daily taste delights, which I worry, paints me into a glutton. Are blogs a quest for empathy in our individual obsessions?
I’ll get back on track: as a last supper with my friend before she returned to New York, we walked up to Northwest 21st, to eat at Caffe Mingo. I’ve written about it before, and what I had there before was so good (the salsiccia and the gnocchi), that I planned on having the same thing again. At about 9:15 pm, we waited for a seat at the communal marble table that bordered the open kitchen, along with a regular customer, whom the staff each took turns personally appologizing to for not having a seat for. A server began to tell him the specials, but was cut off, because he came in for his favorite dish, and didn’t need to hear them. I asked what that was, and it was the Sugo di Carne, strings of beef braised in espresso and chianti (but tasted like neither), over penne pasta. I ordered it of course, and enjoyed every savory, mouthwatering bite. It was italian comfort food. We shared an amazingly fresh, red, caprese salad also, and mopped up that fabulous olive oil (which they take from a huge jar that the olives are sitting in, doubling the olive infusion) with fresh bread. I LOVE THAT PLACE!
With some time to myself on a sunny afternoon after work the next day, I rode my bike to Noble Rot to sit at the tables on the sidewalk, and have a glass of wine. One turned to two, since my friend was working there, and I ordered a plate of their gnocci—dotted with chives, pan fried and served with asparagus drizzled with truffle oil and a carrot reduction. It was really good, which I was a bit surprised about since I’m a purist when in comes to gnocchi. It was a lovely little dinner in the sun.