A Soho Afternoon….
2011/01/15 § 11 Comments
A few snapshots of a very late afternoon in Soho. These were taken just steps from Chinatown and it’s interesting how the scene instantly changes from the bustle a couple of streets down…
Jen and I met for early dinner at Osteria Morini, the downtown restaurant of Chef Michael White. Was very, very excited to try a pasta dish as the handmade Gargagnelli at Alto (in the summer, when he was still the Chef there) was quite possibly the best pasta dish I’ve ever tasted. That was served only with tomatoes, some herbs, cream and cheese being a vegetarian request. The pasta was perfect, the sauce was perfect. I could eat that dish everyday…
Osteria Morini was warm and cozy. Evoking the feel of an Italian farmhouse in all its charming rusticity. To start, we ordered a plate of Fritto Bolognese, traditional streetfood in Bologna, consisting of Bechamel Crochettes, Polenta & Lardo and Mortadella Skewers. It was utter delight biting into the breaded exterior of the crochettes and having molten bechamel cream gushing out. I also really loved the polenta with the cured pig fatback on top. I didn’t fancy the mortadella so much as it somehow tasted like breaded spam that’s deep fried.
Then we had the Cappelletti – truffled mascarpone ravioli, drowned in butter and topped with prosciutto bits and ribbons. Again, the mascarpone oozing out of the very dente pasta never fails to surprise the palate. (Perhaps the pasta was more al dente than usual to emphasize the contrast?) The earthy truffle flavor teases. The portion seemed small but because the pasta was very rich, it was actually just the right amount. The Cappelletti was good. But after the gargagnelli in Alto, I think the Chef might find it difficult to top himself.
We also shared a huge plate of Petroniana, a crispy veal cutlet with prosciutto coppo, buttered spinach, parmigiano and truffle cream that I thought was very good and tender. After which, we shared a giant affogato. Zabaglione gelato with what must have been several cups of espresso. Which I really liked. Bitter and sweet is always a satisfying flavor combination.
It was a good thing to have gotten early reservations. The place was packed soon enough. But it wasn’t noisy or stressfully busy. We had time and space to talk about little things and big things. It was an ordinary Soho afternoon ending up as a great Soho evening.