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Posts from the ‘Carroll Gardens’ Category


It’s not really Calexico’s fault that I’ve been so reluctant to try them. The neighborhood seemed excited to have their first bricks and mortar shop taking over the former Schnack space. I kind of miss Schnack and rarely have the craving for Ameri-Mex food.

Ok, technically this is Cal-Mex, and big burritos containing rice just aren’t my thing. I’m still trying to pin down what Americanized yet served in Mexican-run taquerias style I took a shining to in Portland. These burritos were dense, compact and greasy, the size of a frozen grocery store burrito and crammed with meat like carnitas, sautéed onions arne refried beans, no cheese and definitely no rice. Very much not Mission-style. I miss these gut-busting anomalies.

Calexico pork burrito

Calexico serves perfectly acceptable burritos with bold distinct seasoning. My only half-hearted beef was the uneven ingredient distribution; rice was on one side, beans on the other, and sour cream was all balled up at one end. I ordered mine filled with pulled pork that had an sweet-smoky flavor like the meat was bbq-sauced (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t) and nice vinegary tartness from the pickled onion, but I’m not sure if it’s that’s what I want in a burrito. However, I could imagine this pulled pork being great on a torta or cheesed-up in a quesadilla.  

I’ll probably try them again. Calexico is close to my apartment and inexpensive. This hefty fare is good for the cold weather that has set in coupled with lazy television watching. Sedentary stoner food, really. I’ve been so burnt out and tired lately—so much so that I forgot to take a photo of my burrito’s insides—that pot is the last thing my body needs. But if it’s your thing, you’d probably enjoy a Calexico burrito as part of the experience.

Calexico * 122 Union St., Brooklyn, NY


Did I love it? Not immensely. Either I’ve matured or the never-special menu has slipped into sub par territory. After a few margaritas you might not care, though.

I’ve always thought of Mezcal’s as a guilty pleasure but on my last visit I just felt kind of guilty. It’s getting harder and harder to justify mediocre Ameri-Mex with Calexico and Oaxaca now also in the neighborhood.

Mezcal's quesadilla

Gooey, melted cheese on flour tortillas has its place. I’m a sucker for Tacos Nuevo Mexico’s “gringa” quesadilla. But this chorizo quesadilla was a sad specimen. The corn tortillas weren’t very pliable and the cheese didn’t even keep the sides adhered to one another, meanwhile the thing was topped with what tasted like thin Hunt’s tomato sauce, not even canned enchilada sauce, which would’ve also been kind of sad.

Mezcal's mole

The mole seafood enchiladas were fine for what they were. Of course, this wasn’t a sauce painstakingly ground from 25 ingredients but this sweetish mole-lite is a bit more interesting than the taco+burrito+chimichanga combo platters that many diners favor.

I noticed that they have removed their outdoor seating (they do have a back garden, which is where everyone except us were sitting on this particular balmy evening. I prefer indoor dining, though it ended up not mattering since the front floor-to-ceiling windows were all open and I was harassed by tiny mosquitoes anyway) now that Buttermilk Channel has set up theirs on the corner. I don’t know that one has to do with the other, but I would feel less ostentatious dining in front of Mezcal’s on this still mildly ratty (by Carroll Gardens’s standards only) stretch of Court Street than eating my New American fried chicken and waffles alfresco. Frankly, my favorite thing in that immediate area is the greasy crab rangoon at Wing Hua.

Mezcal’s * 522 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Prime Meats

I’ve been feeling guilty for ignoring restaurants within a three-block radius of my apartment for those in neighboring states. I can dig the Brooklyn scene, too. Or at least I can try.

I showed up to Frankies 457 when it first opened, liked it fine, yet didn’t return for four years. So, who knows if my urge to finally visit Prime Meats will garner a return visit any sooner than 2013. If you’re lucky like me, the Portland Coffee Messiah will pass you by as you stroll down lower Court Street.

Initially, we were scared off by the quote of a 40-minute wait at 9:05 on a Thursday. It’s not a big place so I ordered a Prime Manhattan (Rittenhouse rye, Buddha’s hand bitters and some sort of vermouth, I assume) and figured if I finished it before being seated, we’d move on to another plan. I don’t have a problem eating at bars but I do like to sit when ingesting more than snacks or finger food, and Prime Meats is stool-less for the obvious issue of space constraints. I was still sipping about 20 minutes later when we were whisked to the outer edge of a table for six already occupied by a young couple in the attached corner booth. Perfectly bearable wait.

Prime meats cabbage salad

We just ordered two things from the brief menu. A red cabbage salad that was slicked with just enough oil and punchy vinegar. The walnuts were the right finish, and they tossed in a few more than were probably necessary, which is absolutely how I would’ve made it.

The lighting is abysmal (for food photography, not romance, but I wasn’t there for romance, in fact I got into a tiff over something stupid…James having no opinion on which salad to order. I’m not passionate about salad either, but you must know which one of the three choices sounds the most appealing, right? Ok, I’m a snap decision beast) so despite the fact that I’ve gotten quick and stealthy with my largish camera since acquiring it at the beginning of the year, I was stuck taking candlelit photo after candlelit photo to no avail. Pure blur.

This is what prompted commentary from the peanut gallery at the other end of our table, “She’s Twittering her meal.” Ugh, boo to communal seating. “Dude, you’re supposed to talk behind people’s backs not in front of their face.” And clearly I’m blogging it. Twittering? Come on now.

Prime meats choucroute garni

It’s hard to order choucroute garni and not think fondly of Irving Mill’s charcroute plate, but the two restaurants are vastly different animals and must be judged on their own merits. There was a nice variety of meats—brisket, pork belly, super sagey weisswurst and bratwurst–swimming in a pool of sauerkraut soup. The combo needed mustard and brown bread. Oh, the paying for bread debate. They did have it for a charge and I’m not against the practice, but with a cash only policy I had to be careful with the extras.

Prime Meats * 465 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Marco Polo Ristorante

It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived in Carroll Gardens for five years. That’s a mighty long time for a neighborhood you’re not in love with. One of the first places I noticed after settling in was Marco Polo. Brick-clad, with white stone accents and a sunroom on the side, the corner building seemed styled from an undecipherable era. They also touted valet parking, an unusual touch around these parts. The multi-story restaurant never seemed full yet appeared to be thriving. It scared me a bit, not so much for the mobby vibes emanating (lest you dub me a baseless stereotyper—there was truth in this presumption) but because rampant red saucing makes me want to sob and it would be hard to even justify the novelty factor with entrees in the $20s. I clearly wasn’t their target market.

For at least the past six months while attempting shoulder presses on the second floor of the gym directly across the street, I’ve been regaled with a banner strewn across their façade declaring a 25th anniversary special for 25 days. I don’t think it’s ever coming down. Maybe they’re like me where five years passes like nothing. Twenty-five days could easily turn into 365.

But I have been intrigued, I’ll admit. I’m also curious about the wine bar currently under construction two storefronts down, next to Marco Polo To Go, that still bears Joe’s Restaurant signage in the Marco Polo To Go space.  Not that Carroll Gardens is suffering from a lack of small plates.

I wasn’t doing anything remarkable on Easter, no plans to speak of until around 5pm when it was decided that something festive needed to be done for dinner. James suggested Chestnut. Wildly, Marco Polo popped out of my mouth. I didn’t need to say that twice since I’ve been putting the kibosh on his urge to try the place for practically half a decade. He was instantly on the phone making reservations against my better judgment (seriously, it wasn’t going to be packed and certainly not at 8pm on a Sunday). 

Marco polo mural

There were a few other tables finishing up their $34.95 prix fixes as we arrived. I went in cautiously, not expecting anything remarkable. And no, the food isn’t memorable but I would recommend going once just for the experience. Um, and for the murals (detail above). Isn’t supporting a local business supposed to be better than patronizing an Olive Garden (not that such a chain would stand a chance in South Brooklyn)?  

Marco polo antipasto

First course of warm antipasto was certainly a bready, saucy hodgepodge. There appeared to be shrimp, baked clams, stuffed mushrooms, eggplant rollatini and a fat triangle of mozzarella that looked like French toast. Ok, I do love fried cheese. 

Marco polo lamb

The lamb chops (at least I thought those were chops but it looks like ribs and who knows what else on that plate) were generously portioned and I was glad that the potatoes had a little color around the edges instead of simply being boiled. The meat might’ve been too fatty for some tastes, but I wasn’t put off. 

Marco polo cannoli

For dessert I chose a cannoli, a perfectly nice specimen. Despite rarely eating them, desserts based on sweetened ricotta never let me down. 

Marco polo interior

There are what feels like millions (maybe only really a handful) of Italian-American restaurants cut from a similar red-and-white checked tablecloth (ok, these were white) still thriving in the neighborhood. Maybe I’ll get around to trying a few of them eventually, too.

Marco Polo Ristorante * 345 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Buttermilk Channel

Sometimes things fall into place; often they don’t. New Year’s Eve, much like Fourth of July and Halloween, always end up lackluster because I can’t be bothered to make plans. That why for the dawn of 2008, I made a concerted effort to get out of town and randomly rang in the new year in Toronto. This year I was still recuperating from vacation hangover and wasn’t feeling motivated to come up with anything monumental for December 31.

It was too icy and cold to take chances on Williamsburg where vague parties of friends of friends are always an option and where I frequently end up drunk and eventually angry over the inescapable ‘80s music (Nu Shooz will always set me off guaranteed). So I kept it local, trying to avoid ridiculous prix fixes (even freakin' Marco Polo was throwing a $125 per person fete) and attempting to find a free table anywhere without reservations.

Chestnut was hopelessly full. I wasn’t even going to bother with newish Smith Street darlings like Char No. 4. I had put Buttermilk Channel in that same camp, but decided to check anyway since it’s only three blocks from my apartment. It was hopping at 9:45pm, every space occupied, and then miraculously, two high chairs were open at the end of the bar. Perfect. Maybe that bodes well for 2009?

I didn’t bring the new camera because I know myself too well and feared an inebriated dropping, and sure enough, my purse hit the ground at the end of dinner despite the nice bag hooks beneath the bar. A cocktail that blended rye with vanilla liqueur and bitters, whose name I forget (it contained a woman’s name) got me started on the path to a more festive mood. I stuck with wine the rest of the evening, misguidedly believing that I’d suffer fewer ill effects than with the harder stuff.

Buttermilk channel popovers

Popovers with honey and large flakes of sea salt. They don’t look like much, but sweet, salty and starchy rarely disappoints.

Buttermilk channel lamb romaine salad

I normally steer clear of entrée salads, they always seem too chicken Caesar, chain restaurant-y. But I’ve been making exceptions more and more (most recently with the luxurious lobster salad at Irving Mill). Buttermilk Channel’s rendition with tender lamb and long leaves of romaine was substantial and beefed up with cauliflower, olive bread croutons, a soft-yolked egg and fried capers. I might’ve preferred the cruciferous vegetable to be fried instead of the capers since the hot oil treatment barely registered on such a tiny subject.

Buttermilk channel bratwurst

Name-checked Schaller & Weber bratwurst on a roll. I only tried the fries, which were the way I like them: skinny and crisp.

I’ll definitely go back for a more complete meal. The service was gracious and professional despite the holiday frenzy and the food (what little we sampled) was high caliber for this unloved strip of lower Court Street (eh, for upper Court, too). I'll still patronize chimichanga-slinging Mezcal's on the same block, though.

Buttermilk Channel * 524 Court St., Brooklyn, NY

Korhogo 126

1/2 It must’ve been sometime around Labor Day that I decided to finally check out Korhogo 126. It had transformed from Bouillabaisse 126 quite some time ago but I’d never been compelled to pay a visit. I’m not sure why, it didn’t seem casual enough for a weeknight and it never crossed my mind on a weekend. Unfortunately, it was closed with only a handwritten sign about being on vacation. That seemed a bit suspicious since summer was over by most standards (not mine, but many).

Instead, I just went to Alma, acceptable Mexicanish food not worth writing about more than once, around the corner.

After hearing they were open again and with lower prices, I figured now was the time to return. That block of Union Street is a bit wonky with hours (House of Pizza and Calzone used to be closed randomly, Ferdinando’s also keeps weird hours and…well, not related to hours but is Calexico really that good? I’m glad that something’s going into the Schnack space but I’m not convinced that I will be crazy about these burritos, Vendy award winners or not) so I half expected Korhogo to be closed. But on a prime Friday night, Halloween, no less, lights were on and a decent amount of diners were scattered throughout the back patio than the main room. I prefer dining indoors during all seasons.

I recall there being a crab cake on the menu, which seemed to have been replaced with $6 cod fritters. And in addition to the sparse selections of wines by the glass hovering around $10, there was a $7 white and red on offer. I’ve already forgotten what the red was other than that it came from France, and I ordered it. But other than that, I couldn’t say how the prices and menu have changed.

Korhogo 126 escargot kedjenou

We split the escargot kedjenou because how often do you get to try snails served atypically, sans garlic butter and parsley? From what I understand, kedjenou is a tomato-based Cote d’Ivoire stew that typically uses chicken. This dish exemplified chef Abdhul Traore’s style:  heavy on the French with small nods to Africa. At least I don’t think they’re using puff pastry, escargot and asparagus near the Gulf of Guinea. I immediately realized this was going to be refined food, nothing earthy and gritty (I don’t mind a little earth and grit).

The ratatouille-like sauce was subtly perfumed with licoricey star anise. The snails didn’t have a pronounced flavor and if no one told you what they were you might think the firm dark blobs were meaty mushrooms.

Korhogo 126 agneau casbah

My lamb shank, a perfect mix of tender meat, cripsness and fat, owed more to Northern Africa. This was exactly what I had been wanting last month when I landed at Tanoreen with a lamb craving (and this one is $7 cheaper, I might add). Oddly, here too, the accompaniments were very western: super buttery mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots and squash. I tend to think hotel food when I see that combo, but I wasn’t bothered so much. I bet it would’ve been great with attieke, a false couscous made from cassava that I recently became acquainted with.

Korhogo 126 flounder

This was a flounder special, which I did not eat. The sides were similar to the lamb.

As we were finishing, a group of Nigerian women (and one male) showed up to celebrate a self-proclaimed girl’s night out. I wouldn’t have described the place as a destination restaurant but I’m glad that it is attracting clientele beyond Carroll Gardens.

Korhogo 126 * Union St., Brooklyn, NY

South Brooklyn Pizza

If I am offered free pizza a few blocks from my apartment, the odds are that I’ll say yes (though I might balk at Papa John’s chicken bacon ranch, also nearby). And so I sampled a few of South Brooklyn Pizza's new offerings  this weekend. I'm cheap and lazy. Why not?
On my first and last visit to South Brooklyn Pizza I was a little put off by the unabashedly burnt crust. But that was my only beef—there weren’t any service glitches and I wasn’t wildly bothered by the margherita-only menu (I never did get a cookie, though).
Not that I didn’t think it was odd to serve only one style of pizza. Now they are trying to rectify the situation with three new pies. Clams and oregano appear to be the highlight. In addition to the clam pie there are also clams on the half shell and baked breadcrumb-topped clams oreganata.

Having never tried Frank Pepe’s New Haven original or even a new-breed Brooklyn version a la Franny’s, I can only judge this on its own. The flavor was a touch salty, though I’m not sure if that came from the clams or the pancetta. I tend to think it was shellfish brininess and not unpleasing. I liked this pizza, but I’d be curious to hear other opinions on it.

I started doubting myself when I was told that this was an oregano pizza because there was no way all that arugula-looking foliage was said stemmy herb. It turned out to be pizza verde.
Now, this is a slice of oregano pizza. The classic pizza herb comes on strong. I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to eat it.
The crust has much improved. Now there’s just a little char, enough to stave off doughiness. Hopefully, this is a new standard and wasn’t a one-night-only fluke. I wouldn’t say that South Brooklyn Pizza is a destination pie like Lucali’s but I think it’s a fine enough addition to the lower end of Carroll Gardens. We don’t have much down here. (9/15/08)

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3/4 I’ll temporarily stop boohooing about the state of Asian food in Carroll Gardens. Eton is a small step for the neighborhood, small in stature and in menu, and only works if you’re craving Chinese dumplings.

No, you won’t find any five-for-a-dollar (isn’t it four in a few spots now?) deals, as Sackett Street is no place for such bargains, but $3.50 isn’t exactly extortion. And anyone who’s had their fill of the standard pork and scallion will appreciate the variety served here.

I tried all three staples: pork, beef and cabbage, chicken and mushroom and vegetarian. I really didn’t notice the vegetables in either meaty dumpling. The fillings are substantial, dense and almost meatbally, with very little extra space left for the blobs to float around inside the dough, which is a good thing. You can choose from a variety of sauces in little plastic to-go containers. I would recommend both sriracha and soy sauce drizzled on these two dumplings.

Eton dumplings

The vegetarian is a little odd though not un-tasty, using celery, tiny tofu squares and lentils, I think, but you must make concessions for local tastes. I heard that initially there were complaints before the vegetable dumpling became purely vegetarian. These matched well with the ginger-soy sauce on offer.

Shrimp dumplings were the special on my few visits and they might’ve been my favorite, at least interspersed with a few pork and beefs because those can bog you down. I was expecting a mousse-like puree, but the seafood is chopped roughly and tossed with edamame beans, which provides more texture to chew on. I would pair these with chile oil.

Dumplings are a fine enough Chinese snack (though I’ll always have a soft spot for the greasy, cardboardy crab rangoon from Wing Hua—or is it Ting Hua? I always forget which is the one on Court Street) but what I’m really looking forward to are the noodle soups that will supposedly be on the menu in October. I love a good Asian noodle soup so I’m hoping that what ends up being served isn’t the equivalent of the sad black-charred pizzas coming out of not-so-far-away South Brooklyn Pizza. All I was told is that they will be Asian-ish, not totally traditional, and that short ribs will probably play a role. 

Eton menu

Yes, so Eton currently has two menu items. Hawaiian-style shaved ice has equal billing with the dumplings but I don’t eat things like that so I can’t speak to the snocone-esque treats. I’m really not supposed to be eating sugar (yes, they have four sugar-free syrups—I just don’t like fruity icy things, except for maybe halo halo and that’s just because it looks insane) and when I do I save it for something over the top like the hot fudge sundae that almost put me into a genuine coma at the Jersey Shore last weekend. Sweetened ice just isn’t enough to sway me. I do like that the toppings range from mochi to marshmallow fluff, though.

Eton * 205 Sackett St., Brooklyn, NY

The JakeWalk

I’ve been scoping out new and newish neighborhood bars for potential birthday celebrating. I think many opt for this solution because their living quarters are cramped. That’s not really my problem at all (don’t worry, I have plenty of others) I’m just not sure that I want to go the big messy, cooking and cleaning shebang in the apartment route (but I probably will because I’m a control freak).

Group dining is too traumatic. Annd apparently, my circle of friends are gauche because we always do the split the bill and divvy up the birthday person’s meal approach. It’s not as if the birthday person ever picks an expensive restaurant, so I don’t get the big deal. I also don’t know anyone who hosts their own birthday party and pays for all guests—that seems very rich and elderly, or at the very least like that middle aged guy in the commercial for what I think is Harrah’s Atlantic City and he’s showing off for his friends by picking out all the food and wine and shaking hands with the chef.

My inclination would be to check out Hot Pot City where it’s all you can cook plus unlimited beer for about $30 per person. But Flushing is a pain to get to and the non-carnivorous would probably have problems with raw meat dipped in the shared broth. Feh.

What I’d really like is to order lechon, a whole roast Filipino pig. Yesterday, I got distracted on this blog affiliated with a New Jersey restaurant, New Barbecue Pit. Dining-wise, it’s unfortunate that I know such a large number of vegetarians. Pig heads are enough to scare anyone, and even worse, practically every side dish and appetizer I could order from this place, including vegetables, would contain pork because that’s just the Filipino (and Chinese) way. I really, really do want to have a party with a whole pig but I don’t want to be a brat. It’s my birthday, though, right?

Well, if I ever get married there will most definitely be whole hogs…er, and durian cake and lots of things cooked with foul smelling shrimp paste. You know, just because it would be my special day and I’d like to exercise my right to be self-serving.

So, last night I intended to visit both The JakeWalk and Clover Club and started with the former when I should’ve reversed the order. JakeWalk was only about half-full when I arrived and still had a few open tables when I left around 9pm. Clover Club was at capacity by the time I made it a few blocks up the street. I should’ve known better since it’s gotten a lot of press people flock to newness. I wasn’t inclined to wait around for a seat.

I love fondue to death but I was kind of freaked out by how many diners were ordering it. I mean, it was like 98% humidity last night. My clothes were all damp and sticky just from the 10-block walk. I wouldn’t eat fondue in a place like Singapore either, but that’s just me.

Jakewalk cheese plate I did order cheese, though. I’m not supposed to be eating sugar and that makes me sad (I’m on a mailing list that has been talking about chocolate croissants the past few days and food blogs seem to have gone wild with summer fruit tarts). But no one said I couldn’t go wild with cheese. And yes, I realize there is sugar in alcohol, cocktails in particular, but I turn a blind eye.

We ordered a small sampler with a choice of three cheeses and two meats. They were out of lamb prosciutto, which I was interested in because why not. Instead, we chose wild boar sausage, which was fatty, gamey and very stiff on the teeth. I liked it, though it’s not a soft pliable piece of charcuterie. We also ordered speck because I always forget what it’s like. I would say it’s a heartier less salty prosciutto.

I was hoping for Hooligan because it’s one of my favorite cheeses and I’d seen it on their website (urgh, I have to type “Web site” at work all day and now my hands automatically want to use that format) but it wasn’t listed. No matter, as an offshoot of Stinky Bklyn you know there will be plenty of winsome options. Instead, I picked another raw cow’s milk cheese I’ve liked in the past, Constant Bliss, and creamy blue Stichelton (which I now know is pronounced stickleton rather than stilcheechon). James always likes sharp and hard cheeses so he went for an Essex Street Comte.

Jakewalk speck and boar sausage

Extras entailed a blob of peach jam, fig almond cake and pickled beans and onions.

I did appreciate that they provided a serious amount of bread slices (more than shown in the photos). I’m not supposed to be eating bread either (seriously, what can I freaking eat?) but whatever, it’s the principle. I hate it when you get tapas or things demanding bread and you’re given like two tiny slivers.

Jakewalk arugula salad

Who cares if the leaves are coated in creamy lemon vinaigrette, I like to pretend that salads are healthy. This tuft of arugula also contained shavings of manchego and spiced marcona almonds.

Jakewalk improved gin cocktail Apparently, I’m easily influenced because I ordered a glass of sherry after just having read Eric Asimov’s lament in the Times. The main reason I wanted to try Montilla-Moriles Fino was because I was wondering if this was the mystery sherry we’d had in Buenos Aires, the one where James inexplicably scrawled down the nonsensical phrase malo-malo. This sherry did contain two hyphenated M words. I don’t think it was the same, though. The flavor was a little harsher, kind of like musty almonds with a hint of dirt.

I finished with an Improved Gin Cocktail because I was curious how the ingredients–genever, maraschino, absinthe and angostura bitters–would blend. Now that’s a pretty yet bitter drink. I’ve never liked syrupy sweet cocktails but only in old age have I been able to appreciate the opposite end of the spectrum. The orange peel twist only upped the ante.

The JakeWalk * 282 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY

Frankies 457

Just yesterday I was talking with coworkers about my dislike of Italian-American food. I don’t even know how we got on the topic (oh, yes I do—July is national hot dog month and well, hot dogs are one of the only things in the world I don’t like to eat, along with melon and Italian-American food) but I don’t want to be known as a food snob so I was trying to temper my words. I had no idea that eight hours later I would be sitting down to a plate of pasta. Eating my words, literally.
It’s the heavy starch, cloying tomato sauce and glut of cheese that bothers me. Ground beef rolled into balls doesn’t help matters. As long as these components remain absent, I’m fine.
My friend Jessica had just started taking Spanish classes around the corner from my apartment (I should really get a referral bonus—this is the second pal who has taken up lessons) so I had a new Friday night dining companion. The thing is that I don’t eat much in my immediate neighborhood (though it would seem so based on recent write ups). I drew a blank on vegetarian-friendly venues.
I wondered if Frankies was still a pain to get into. I hadn’t been back since they opened in 2004, mostly because I’m bothered by crowds. Time has passed, and it turns out that you’ll still be quoted a 30-40 minute wait at 10:30 pm on a Friday. There were empty tables, too. We tried not to take it personally and enjoyed a glass of Torrontes at the backyard bar/waiting area they’ve set up on a driveway.

Normally, I would’ve picked out salumi but it’s not right eating a plate a cured meat by yourself. Instead, we chose three cheeses to share: a dry Pecorino, Pepato, a semi-soft sheep’s milk cheese studded with whole peppercorns and a creamy Tallegio. The walnuts and honey were a nice touch.

When I said I hated pasta that didn’t necessarily mean light handmade pasta, the airy kind that almost falls apart when bitten. I was going to take half of the cavatelli and hot sausage home, but next thing I knew 75% was already gone. It’s the sage butter that drew me in. I do have to say that the cavatelli kind of resembled sago worms, the kind of grub that takes some getting used to. (6/27/08)

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