Showing posts from January, 2014


Tutti a tavola a mangiare!
Famous sign off phrase of Lidia Bastianich, Italian chef and TV personality, meaning "everyone to the table to eat!".  (Fun fact: Though her cuisine is Italian, she's from a region of Italy that is now in Croatia.  I dunno, I always thought this trivia about her was so interesting, and an insight into how country borders can change so arbitrarily.)
Lidia (I pretend I'm on first-name basis with her) has a very cute restaurant in Manhattan's Theater District.  As you walk down West 46th Street, you realize why it's nicknamed Restaurant Row: dozens of restaurants and bars stacked upstairs and downstairs and all next to each other.  I say "upstairs and downstairs" because most of the restaurants are three steps down from street level and upstairs are beautiful brownstones.  It's all quite romantic in the evening hours, with twinkling lights and the people milling around.

Becco is one such restaurant that Lidia owns.  On th…

Le Zucco

In New York City, it's hard to find restaurants that are hidden gems anymore, and in light of recent events, it seems that this hidden gem has been taken away from us...
Le Zucco is a tiny (and I mean tiny - three tables and seats about eight people in total) French restaurant in the Lower East Side.  Ironically, we found it because of a Groupon.  The restaurant has kind of a French-people-only trespassers-beware appearance about it, but the ambiance inside was more welcoming.
We ordered a large charcuterie plate with cheese, meat, and fruit; escargot; french onion soup; and merguez sausages. The waiter who took our order also happened to be the owner and head chef, a grungy shaggy-haired guy that definitely exuded a Frenchy air about him.  I loved, however, that he knew our orders by memory and he himself then went behind the bar to start pouring our wine and cooking our food from scratch.  All the while, he schmoozed and double-European-cheek-kissed other passersby who seemed …