Category Archives: Tarallucci and Vino NYC

Celebrating My Birthday: What We Ate and Drank

My birthday falls on August 24, the same day as Mt. Vesuvius’ most famous eruption. But instead of destroying Pompeii or Queens, I like to celebrate with the pop of Champagne. This year’s celebration lasted for a few days, and this is what we ate and drank.IMG_1030

Michele and I started with breakfast at Tarallucci e Vino on 28 Street. We had cappuccino and cornetti, Italian croissants.IMG_1029

Michele’s was made with whole wheat and filled with honey, and I had the “normale” or plain.  IMG_1027

We had lunch on the terrace of our apartment and Michele made open faced smoked salmon sandwiches with butter and crème fraiche on pumpernickel bread. With them, we drank a bottle of Taittanger NV Champagne.IMG_1024

The next day we went to Bouley for lunch. It is one of our favorite restaurants because of the food, professional service, beautiful décor, and comfortable and quiet atmosphere. I am very disappointed that it will close in October. If you have never been, or want to experience it again, better make reservations now.

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The Sea Urchin

I started with a glass of Champagne, Robert Moncuit, Brut, Blanc de Blanc. Then the tasting menu.

I had the Malibu Sea Urchin, the Foragers Treasure of Wild Mushrooms, followed by Organic Calves Liver and three desserts. It was superb. We drank a BurgundyIMG_1039

Every year very close friends Ernie and Louise invite us to their house to celebrate my birthday and make some of my favorite dishes. This year they also invited their son Jason and his wife Deborah to join us.IMG_1096

We started with an appetizer of melted gorgonzola cheese and pine nuts on toasts and artisanal salami from their local butcher. With it we drank a Rose Champagne.IMG_1099

The first course was a cold Cantaloupe and Ginger Soup with  Champagne.IMG_1097

The wine seemed to have a hint of ginger, too and it went very well with the soup.IMG_1100

The main course was Grilled Marinated Lamb Skewers.

The cubes of meat were alternated with thick slices of bacon and squares of bread. They were grilled to perfection. The bread picked up the smoky flavors of the bacon and the lamb juices.IMG_1103

With this we had a magnum Cote Rotie that was a perfect match.IMG_1105

For dessert, we had fresh fig ice cream accompanied by pignoli cookies.IMG_1106

Then café,

IMG_1108 and  last a Marc de Bourgogne, one of the best I have ever had.

It was was a great Birthday celebration with a lot of “pop”

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Filed under Champagne, Tarallucci and Vino NYC, Tattinger Champagne, Uncategorized

Dining at Tarallucci and Vino, NYC

Tarallucci and Vino just opened a new location at 44 East 28 Street and I couldn’t be happier. Michele and I attended a “soft opening” dinner last night and it was terrific. First of all, it is a great looking place with a large outdoor area, spacious bar room and comfortable dining room. The owner Luca Di Pietro greeted us and immediately offered us glasses of Pecorino, which was very welcome and refreshing on a hot night.

Luca and Lorenzo

Luca and Lorenzo

Lorenzo Baricca, the wine director, whom we had met on a wine trip several years ago, is a partner. He proudly showed us his impressive collection of older wines going back to the 1960’s.IMG_0962

We began our meal with some appetizers. Burrata cheese with roasted baby eggplant for Michele and grilled octopus with potatoes, celery and caperberries for me.IMG_0961

There was also an appealing list of small plates for sharing, such as fried polenta, ‘nduja with mascarpone and tomato, and pancetta with a confit of shallots. These weren’t available for the preview dinner, but they sounded delicious.IMG_0965

For our main course, both of us chose pasta. Michele had the Fregnacce with Duck Ragu, broad fresh pasta strips with a rich duck sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano,IMG_0963

while I opted for the Agnolotti, ricotta-filled ravioli sauced with mushrooms, hazelnuts, and basil.IMG_0964

We also had a side dish of roasted eggplant.IMG_0969

To finish off the wine, we ordered a cheese course. Three cheeses appeared: Parmigiano Reggiano, gorgonzola and robiola, all of them in perfect condition. A small bowl of good honey topped with chopped almonds accompanied the cheese.IMG_0971

We couldn’t leave without dessert so I chose the gelatoIMG_0972

and Michele had the panna cotta with verbena and peaches.IMG_0966

The wine list is extensive but not overwhelming. Lorenzo has some unusual wines on the list such as Caprettone, a white from Cantina Olivella, the aforementioned Pecorino, and a Nero D’Avola which we also sampled. The highlight for me was the bottle of Benanti Etna Rossa “Rovittello”   2004.IMG_0974

The older wines on the list include the 1962 Barolo Riserva Speciale from Marchesi di Barolo ($250) and Rivetto Barolo 1966 ($150), which are very well priced.IMG_0960

Tutto finisce a tarallucci e vino,” is an old Italian saying meaning that it all ends well.

To quote the menu, “The famous Italian saying comes from a tradition of resolving any matter over a glass of wine and tarallucci, the classic southern Italian cookie.  Since 2001 Tarallucci e Vino has adopted this philosophy and applied it every aspect of our dining experience. From our handcrafted pastries every morning to our fresh pastas and locally and seasonally inspired Italian plates at night, we invite you start or end your day and unwind at Tarallucci e Vino.”

What an appealing thought and we totally agree!

There are several Tarralluci e Vino locations in Manhattan. For more information go to http://www.taralluccievino.net/. 212-779-1100

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Filed under Benanti Rovitello, Bertani, Etna Rosso, Tarallucci and Vino NYC, Uncategorized