This is the first meal I ate in Zagreb when I visited Matty. I must have had the spoon in my hand when I took the photo?
Thought this bowl of hot soup looked inviting for this way below freezing January night. I shot all those vacation pics with a Canon 20D and I miss that camera. The shutter eventually failed and I even had it repaired but it failed again. I just liked that camera.
We went to dinner at Havana Alma de Cuba on Christopher Street in the West Village. Mary ordered the Hemingway- mussels, shrimp, calamari, scallops in a green sauce. I had the green plantain crusted red snapper, avocado and sofrito sauce with black beans and yellow rice. Flan for dessert.
Right next to our table in the front of the restaurant, a man came with a wooden box, a press, some tools. Tools for cigar making.
He unfurled large leaves of tobacco and began to roll cigars and cut them. The insides were in the wooden molds.
His hands were a blur. I asked if I might photograph him and he agreed. He told us the leaves were from the Dominican Republic. The cigar pile grew. As we prepared to leave he gave us a few cigars and matches in a bag which I gave to my son for some celebration or occasion. Our grandfather smoked cigars on the front porch when I was a kid. The smell of cigar smoke is strong but nostalgic. One whiff and I can be in that memory. See him in a straw hat. No one was smoking cigars on Tuesday night but it was fascinating to watch the hands of a master roll and cut them.
Tuesday afternoon I met a friend for dinner. We used to teach in the same school but are in different schools across the city now. It was good to catch up. When we walked into the restaurant,La Tavola Italiana, I could not believe what I saw in front of me! A St. Joseph Feast spread from the day before. Later Carmela came out to speak with us about how we were enjoying our dinners and she was taking photos with her iPad to send to her family. She uses the iPad to keep the restaurant calendar for parties and other aspects of her business.
I asked if she made the St. Joseph Cavazunes filled with the chick peas and she said, “NO, they are Calabrese.” She is Sicilian and she makes Zeppoles.
I said that I’d photographed all the bread and would send her the photos but would she like to pose with all her handiwork and she did! I didn’t notice she put the iPad down onto the cloth in front until I saw it on the computer. She was gracious to allow me to photograph her. NEXT year we have to go to actual feast! It sounded like a terrific party.
And speaking of party? Click to hear Chicago John’s Italian Song Selection
A classy restaurant we’ve driven by on a daily basis but never stopped to dine.
Celebrating 19 years- our unanniversary- a solid friendship and steadfast companionship, not sure where all that time has gone but there we were in East Liberty and we headed to SPOON.
What we ate- the service was excellent and even though we weren’t ordering up the Foie Gras or the Tasting Menu or a Magnum of Champagne, they treated us hospitably and did not make us feel out of place as we were “walk-ins” and didn’t have reservations which would be a good idea for future visits.
Breadbasket: warm cream cheese chive biscuits/baguette and warm muffins
garden vegetable baby mix green salad: Golden Harvest Farm baby mix greens, fresh garden vegetables, champagne vinaigrette
Spoon burger: 8 oz. Kobe beef, aged white cheddar cheese, parmesan + herb fries, challah bun
Too full for the desserts but they sounded wonderful.
Butternut squash and leek risotto for the main course. Ordered the house salad first and excellent dressing arrived in the cruet. Delicious and not too crusty bread. We didn’t have a reservation but you can call Piccolo-Forno . We were lucky we got a table right away. No wait. It was bustling. Only drawback the surfaces reflect the din so it’s a bit loud. Food and service very good. To read a review click here.