it runs in the family.

1978, southern illinois, by robert m. lightfoot iii. 
{l-r: buffalo, pops, mr. graef, mr. henoch}

pops is in town.

tomorrow night i will see him play my toddlerhood favorite, carmina burana. he flew into the city a few days before the rest of the orchestra so that he could see dog days and romp around the city with me a bit. we've been eating falafel and spending all of his per diem on dark chocolate and designer salt. he's also been yapping my ear off about the state of orchestras in america, to the point where i almost wanted to pull a van gogh last night. but before that could happen we became happily distracted with a few wonderful events:

on our way to see nick's unbelievable/breathtaking/shut-up-i'm-gushing show, we found ourselves on the street in the village that pops occupied when he first moved to new york, when he was just younger than me. he showed me the exact building, on west 4th and bank, and i had been there. three years ago. to the restaurant on the first floor. on a really extremely terrible date.

then, post-nick-show, as we sipped neat drinks and shared a fantastic brussels sprout small plate, a jingle on his phone signaled the receipt of a photo {above} of a face i've so often made, only it was on my dad. there he was, about my age, with his craycray friend buffalo, and mr. flute and mr. oboe.

can we first acknowledge that buffalo in this picture would get along swimmingly in williamsburg circa the present?

and now what am i supposed to say about my dad? would i be friends with him of yore? is he goofier now or was he goofier then? what would happen in the sci-fi version of my past if 17-year-old him rolled out of his west village apartment on that non-descript october night as i headed into the first floor restaurant? would i tell him to be careful with the swab during his first mahler two? would i advise him not to bite into that fuddrucker's hot dog that cost him so many years of dental surgery? maybe i would just compliment him on his glasses and tell him to get a new bow tie. 


arthur avenue

in fleeing the city and the crowd of marathon runners and their cheerleaders this weekend, i found myself in the bronx. specifically, on arthur avenue, experiencing a bit of italy for my carby-loving pleasures. i experienced my first mozzarella en carozza {most easily identified as a deep fried grilled cheese} and was introduced to a lovely savoiardi cookie. i tracked down some cavatelli and mini gnocchi, and entertained the idea of purchasing an espresso maker. and then before i knew it, i was at the other end of little italy and it wasn't even lunch number two time. it made me a little sad that it went by so quickly... so i went down to the village to sockerbit and cheered up with little sweets that have cute names like smultron ponny and sura blåbärsbitar. 
oh, and for the official record, i did not get butt boosting jeans.

week 50: the spotted pig

i've got a fever and the only cure is more april bloomfield.
since being done in with cotechino and ciabatta donuts at the breslin last february, i've had my little desires burning with hope that one day, maybe, i'd have the time to invest in the legendary wait at ms. b's other wansternaunt, 
here are my dates, jeff and hammer, doing what you're supposed to do before a spotted pig happening. and it is sad because our schedules these days are such that our "spontaneous late-night badass drunk trip to the spotted pig" really had to be our precisely calculated days in advance drunken itinerary meal plan. 
but really it was aok because when we rolled in after a few at the local watering hole, we apparently told the host the lucky number because despite the fact that people were all up in each other's grill, we three got seated immediately. shazam.
and soon thereafter, chicken liver toast was in my belly and it was more than great. 
it was so so great. 
and even better was that the friend who told me weeks ago that i must get the chicken liver toast is a circus clown.
 the other appetizers {deviled eggs and something called a devil on a horseback {?} which involved a fruity thing wrapped in a bacon-y thing}were good too, but nothing could prepare us for 
the bunny rabbit that jeff ordered.
i never had a bunny rabbit before, i never even considered it.
stoop always used to sleep with a stuffed bunny rabbit, so maybe that was the reason. 
anywho, i do believe that bunny rabbit might be one of my new favorite meats. 
it's a juicier, softer, tastier version of a chicken. 
and i am all for it, thumpers aside.
ok so the gnudi = {gnocchi + ravioli}^n
trader joe's makes this stuffed gnocchi that is wild, so if you eat that and then imagine it better, that is what this is. 
the pasta was really doughy and the ricotta was really grainy and ricotta-y.
 i don't know what was more entertaining:
the great pile of rosemary hiding underneath the shoestring fries
or hammer sitting across the table from me, 
about to poo his pants about how much he loved that damn burger.
and yeah, it was mighty good. flavorful, a softy bun... but in my eyes, roquefort cheese will always be a man's cheese. and also being a majority tipsy might not have been totally conducive to the stinky feet smell...
but the shoestring fries, by gum. it was like every single night during high school that was spent at the steak and shake eating their skinny fries. these were crispier, and garlickier, and saltier, and...soooo much rosemary. brilliant. 
it was a tight fry.
shortly thereafter,
i was awake in my bed with all of my clothes on and a bunny rabbit next to me.
just kidding.

whatever, good thing this place finally happened because there are two restaurants left in the restaurant challenge. holy lamb.



the spotted pig is on west 11th and greenwich and is open way late and does not take reservations

week 20: piccolo angolo

if i could be anything else, i'd be italian.

i mean,
i realize i'm pretty lucky-
getting matzoh ball soup from one side
and some pretty pimp dumplings from the other-
but, boy, if i could have a third half
i'd want it to be italian so that i could eat like i did at

every day.

i found myself dining once again with the kings of unbougey
who convinced me that 
before babbo,
and before sd26,
i would be eating at this adorable family-run west village restaurant
for a meal that my imaginary italian grandmother would have cooked.

we began with:
some of the freshest caprese salad i've ever had the pleasure of meeting
stuffed mushrooms that made me reconsider my prejudice against 'shrooms
melon topped with piles of fierce prosciutto
...the voice in the back of my mind says, "molly, you are a mostly-food blogger, you must try the mussels!"
{oh wait, that voice is real and it's jeff's}

before i recount my broken virginity to shell fish,
i'd like you all to notice the background of this picture.
{molly gets introduced to the act of "photo-bombing"}

the mussel
was fine.
weirdest of all was how it looked.
but the taste was great,
the texture like a fresh gummy bear,
and the juices at the bottom of the plate-- delicious!

all of our main courses ended up being a giant hunk of meat- in one form or another:

chicken rollatini
stuffed with ricotta and prosciutto
topped with 'shrooms.

pork bracciola
veal ossobucco 

...and some other forms of meaty outrageousness {some fried, some in sauce form}
it was seriously the most amount of meat i've ever seen on one table.

if we would have combined our powers,
we might have been able to construct a baby giraffe. 

a round of musical forks commenced,
and i was a happy camper.
though, i really wanted to hog all of my ossobucco to myself,
as it was amazing.
it came with a baby fork in the middle of the bone to dig out the marrow,
and in chris' words, it was:
a castle of deliciousness
with marrow that was like
gamey butter.

dessert seemed like a terrible idea.

but with nutella cheesecake on the menu,
we really didn't have a choice.

jared got this cute little ball of ice cream,
luke and chris got amaretto tiramisu,
i got the original tiramisu,

and jeff got this ricotta cheesecake that i still daydream about.
it didn't have that tangy cheesecake taste that i once overdosed on,
it was more light and cakey.

i felt like violet beauregarde after the whole ordeal.
just roll me through the village, why don't you.

it was entirely worth it though.

and i am willing to do it again...

but, mi amore, i've got 32 more restaurants to go!



piccolo angolo is located on hudson and jane street in the west village