I often compare great food to a three hour Bruce Springsteen concert. It always leaves you wanting more even after hours of insatiable affect, filling almost every desire. A menu is like a great play list from the concert—you anticipate the next song, the next pasta dish, the next life changing experience-whether it is an encore of Thunder Road or a cannoli oozing out creamy ricotta and zest of orange. There is always an encore and sometimes more than one.
Now picture my analogy as a dream come true. Three Springsteen concerts in four days- two in Jersey and one at Madison Square Garden. Four nights and five days or eating Jersey’s finest pizza, bagels overstuffed with lox, cream cheese, onions, tomato and cucumbers, (oh but I still miss H and H on the upper west side) and just like Springsteen playing those surprise favorites like Trapped, Candy’s Room and Badlands- the culinary hits kept coming as well.
There was Peking Duck at Mr. k’s in Midtown before a shopping splurge of baguette, cheese salamis and pate from Murry’s in the Village to tailgate with before concert number two. Standing three hours non- stop singing and rocking needs some fueling and Manhattan did not disappoint. Did I mention the Italian pastry known as a lobster tail for post night concert reflection? Did I miss confessing the ricotta pie and a slice of NY cheesecake as well?
Needless to say, on the off day of concerts we centered our sites on Chelsea. Smart move to be within walking distance of Eataly- Mario Batalio’s brainchild of the ultimate rock and roll of Italian food festival, market, Italian nirvana for all the senses. We tackled six restaurants within 3 2/2 hours, which like a Bruce concert left us craving more even though we were oozing with the richness of the experience.
Here was our play list on the Ultimate food crawl:
Two bowls of Pasta – one with sweet sausage with tomatoes, parmesan, reggiano, pecorino adnd bitter greens- my favorite
Spaghettone with salumera Biellese- hubby’s favorite. In fact I believe his comment was “Even if I didn’t love you already- I love you now!) I think that is a compliment--
Next we sauntered over to the Salomé counter for crostini’s (three with assorted toppings – not my favorite) and an incredible radicio-arugula salad- ranked among one of the best salads ever.
It was time for fish- Il Peche was the destination and a whole roasted Branzini, (Mediterranean sea bass) not only melted in our mouths, could be on the best ever for fish preparation. Delicate and fresh the tender filets melted in our mouths, with the fish cheeks adding that encore feeling of moist succulence.
Now our health conscious part- the Veg restaurant for roasted cauliflower on a bed of faro with lemon zest and fresh white anchovies- a miracle dish of flavor and expertise as far as respecting each ingredient on the plate.
By now as my copy editor is rolling their eyes from this lengthy blog- I sum up the rest:
Rooftop- grilled squab and roasted King mushroom with olive oil drizzle and soft poached egg- hello!!!! The sun shining, the place packed at 2:30- foamy craft beer and a belly screaming from overload of insatiable delight.
3 ½ hours of eating lunch- consider this a culinary revival- hey If Bruce Springsteen can lead us to the promise land by night—Eataly certainly brings us there by day—
Read more about my NY eating splurge in May on www.flavorsandmore.com
What was your favorite meal before or after a concert?