Monday, June 16, 2008

Diana Takes A Bite.... of the Big Apple

Despite my loud pontifications about how much I love Newport Beach/Orange County, California, I have a major crush on New York City. While I am fully aware of its limitations and shortcomings, and know that I probably would not enjoy it quite so much if I moved there and had to rely on public transportation or my feet for any and all excursions, I still harbor a fantastical image of what it would be like to live there. (The image more-or-less resembles Carrie Bradshaw's life in Sex and City - complete with fabulous shoes and fabulous job that I spend 2.5 hours a week doing.)

Whenever I visit the City, I play this game where I pretend that I actually do reside there. I refuse to do lame things like take pictures, ask for directions or go anywhere near Times Square, and I adopt this crazy walk where I essentially sprint down the street, weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic like I'm back home in LA on the 405 freeway. It's not a pretty sight.

Due to my intense desire to make myself appear as NYC cool as possible, I do not have photos of any of the wonderful food stuffs I ate on my last trip to the City for my college roommate's wedding. I would rather maintain the allusion of my innate NYerness than maintain the integrity of my blog. (Plus I didn't want the waiters to hate me.)

In place of a photo essay, I have a list of the seven best food items I encountered over the course of my three day stay.

In no particular order (other than the order that I ingested them):

1. Seppia e Gamberi con Ceci e Rosmarino Antipasti dish from L'Impero - sauteed seppia and shrimp with chickpea creama and rosemary oil

2. Semifreddo di Pistacchio dessert from L'Impero - pistachio semifreddo, dark chocolate cake and mousse

3. Margherita pizza from Lombardi's - This one deserves more than just a mention. I'm not afraid of the bold statement... it's the BEST PIZZA EVER.

4. Crisp Fried Calamari with spicy marinara sauce from Piccola Venezia (taking rings of squid to a size unseen before by my mankind!) Notable mention for their luscious shrimp scampi hot antipasto, and Fusi alla Grappa Istrian bowtie-shaped pasta with mushrooms, grappa and parmigiano. Ok, and the halibut sauteed with lemon-butter and capers was pretty lip-smackingly fabulous also. I just really liked this restaurant. A lot. Possibly because they gave me samples of the Merlot, Cabernet and Shiraz before I settled on the Cabernet. Possibly because it was a rehearsal dinner and all of the above was paid for by a source other than my bank account. And possibly because it's in New York (errr Queens) and becomes exceedingly cooler and yummier by association.

5. The warm cinnamon raisin bagel monstrosity from Better on a Bagel in Port Jefferson Station. What goes better on a bagel? Peanut butter. Lots and lot of peanut butter.

6. The filet from Tavern on the Green. I realize foodies aren't particularly fond of Tavern's fare, but that perfectly juicy filet and I were very happy together at the wedding reception. I'd take a dance with him over a dance witih the hunky ex-swimmer groomsman who walked me down the aisle any day of the week. Or not. My life doesn't always revolve around the contents of my stomach.

7. Asparagus and goat cheese omelet from Nice-Matin -- the ideal breakfast after a few too many alcoholic beverages at the reception the night before.

Cheers to another great game of pretending to be a NYC resident! Next time I'm going for the gold... acquiring cupcakes from a place other than Magnolia Bakery!

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