David Chang is 33

August 6, 2010

Dark, smoky, intimate dinner last night at Torrisi Italian Specialties to celebrate David’s birthday. It was a small group: a few chefs (April Bloomfield, Jonathan Benno, Marco Canora), some food people (Kate Krader, Dana Cowin, Ken Friedman), and a smattering of Dave’s college friends.

It was funny; all the wine people were standing around drinking beer out of cans, and David was hopping from table to table, looking happy. Or as happy as he can.

The food was so fantastic, I want to go back and eat it all over again. The standouts were powerful little squares of garlic bread with soft warm fresh mozzarella to spoon on top, and the most intense seafood pasta I’ve ever eaten; each strand of spaghetti seemed to have inhaled the ocean. It was followed by long ribs of beef, the edges wonderfully crisped to blackness, the meat itself cut into rich, rare slabs. On the side a bitter little salad paired with achingly sweet polenta. Eaten together the meat, the greens and the corn delivered a powerful flavor punch.

We ate and drank and talked and then afterward – what else? – went off to The Breslin, still packed as the IRT at rushhour at 2 a.m. How can you not love being in New York?

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