January 2, 2018
New York, on New Year’s Day, was strangely vacant. The city sparkled – lights twinkling everywhere – but taxis scooted through empty streets, lights reflecting off the pavement. After the revels of the night before, most restaurants were closed.
Which made the welcome at Union Square Cafe that much more appealing. It felt like a warm, bright oasis. And the food was – for me at least – simple and perfect.
I began with the scallop crudo – above – tiny pristine Nantuckets, the popcorn of the sea, embellished with nothing more than pickled pepper and crisped sunchokes. The most wonderful seasonal treat.
Afterward, a plate of pasta alla chitarra tossed with nothing more than anchovy, broccoli, preserved lemon and a hint of chile. A bit of cheese. A reminder that, in Italy, it’s not the sauce that counts, it’s the pasta that has to shine.
I’ve never seen butter served like this. But it was wonderful – as was the bread that came with it.
Sorry this picture is such a mess. First Michael inhaled his hamburger, wearing the most beatific smile), then he attacked the mint chocolate chip ice cream with such speed I never got the chance to shoot it. But I loved the combination of the mango/passion fruit sorbet with fior di latte ice cream. If you have happy memories of Good Humor creamsicles, this is the platonic ideal.
And finally, the wine. Deux Montille Soueur et Frere, Rully Blanc, La Chaponniere, 2013. On this list it’s a Burgundy bargain.
Categorised in: restaurants