This past Friday was my 25th birthday. Hard to believe I’ve been alive for a quarter of a century but here I am. Seeing as how I’ve been shirking my blogging responsibilities for the past month or so, I figured 25 was a good time to get back on track.
As anyone who knows me knows or anyone who actually reads this thing can tell, I love Italian food. Such a cliché, I know, but I could eat pasta every night of the week and never get tired of it. Obviously for my birthday I wanted to go somewhere with fantastic pasta and Chef Michael White makes perhaps the best stuff in NYC. Rick and I had gone to Convivio for our anniversary – this was before it was handed over to White’s business partner and then subsequently shut down. It was quite the meal and I had been wanting to go to one of his other places ever since. Sadly, Marea, is a bit out of my price range but Osteria Morini, with its rustic Emilia-Romagna dishes seemed perfect.
Having studied the menu extensively prior to arriving, I had already decided on the sformato as my appetizer of choice. The sformato was a truffle, parmigiano custard with mushrooms on top. Hello, all of my favorite things in one compact dish, smeared over crusty bread. And it did not disappoint. Creamy, rich, and smelling pungently of truffles it’s a heart warming dish. I only wish there had been more of it…sigh.
We also tried the duck confit crostini. It came with a good size portion of the confit and two pieces of crusty toasted bread to smear it on. It was good, definitely enjoyable, but I wasn’t totally in love with it. No matter, I didn’t want to fill up on anything before I got my pasta.
Deciding on what pasta to get was a difficult decision…so difficult that I agonized over it for days and still hadn’t made up my mind by the time we got to the restaurant. I ended up going with the gramigna, a shape of pasta I had never even heard of, that came with a creamy tomato sauce and sausage. Gramigna, it turns out, is a short curled spaghetti type pasta. The sauce and crumbled pork sausage were of course done perfectly and the pasta complimented the sauce well. While it was completely delicious and I loved every bite, this is probably something I could have made myself. In retrospect I wish I had gone with the gnocchi, which is something I almost never get to have. Oh well, there is always next time – believe me, there will be a next time.
Rick got the stracotto, which was braised short rib, polenta and caramaIized onions. The meat was falling apart it was so tender and the polenta was creamy. The whole dish was very hearty, the type of meal you want to have on a cold winters night. It was, however, as Rick pointed out, something he could probably get at a variety of restaurants. A delectable plate of meat to be sure, just not very unique. Then again, you’re not really coming here for unique food. It’s just good, hearty, Italian fare done the best way possible.
We of course got dessert, since it was my birthday and all. Rick got the Tiramisu, which is his favorite dessert. I’m not always the biggest fan but it was good. I got the torta di mele – apple brown butter cake with caramel sauce and vanilla gelato. Yeah, it was as good as it sounds.
It was a fabulous meal, everything tasted fantastic. I’ll definitely be altering my order next time but every bite was divine.