A Few Fine Flavors from the Past Week

April 23, 2016

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This is the citrus salad at Altro Paradiso; it is utterly irresistible.  Blood oranges, a bit of red onion, aged pecorino, dates, pistachios… I was so sorry when the plate was empty.

This was my other favorite dish at Altro Paradiso (the newest outpost of the Estela gang): sliced ribeye splashed with lemon and framed by the slight bitterness of broccolini.

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I stopped in for lunch at the bar at Gramercy Tavern: flower-filled and all decked out for spring, it was a very happy place to be. I began with this plump roasted Island Creek oyster:

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And went on to the clean, refreshing taste of fluke. The delicate little petals of fish, sparkling with just a touch of salt, reveled in their citrus bath. Those rich, soft pinenuts, so smooth beneath the teeth, added a riveting textural contrast.

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But the big surprise of the week was this gorgeous pizza bianca at Bonfiglio in Hudson New York. How did the crust contrive to be both crisp and floppy at the same time?  The arugula was dressed with the lightest hand and the result was so delicious I was reminded of something Alice Waters might have made when she first opened the Cafe at Chez Panisse.

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