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Eaten, Barely Blogged: Red-Sauced


Ok, I’ll admit that this wood-paneled old-timer’s recent appearance on Bored to Death made me think of going. The deal was sealed when I realized a party I was attending happened to be at a Night of Joy across the street at the end of the block. I try not to talk about Italian food at all because you just come across like a jerk if you say you don’t like Italian food, meaning Italian-American. I don’t want to insult this nation’s favorite cuisine. My hesitation stems from all the tomato sauce–it’s too tangy and one-note. (It could be argued that I just haven’t had a good version. Regardless, I still have zero interest in Torrisi—or now Parm—no matter how life-changing you tell me it is.) Twice a year I might break down and order something like two meaty pork chops smothered in red sauce, pizzaiola. Add clams casino, garlic potatoes, green beans, and a bottle of Chianti, and you’re set. Also, the ladies’ room (maybe the men’s too?) is entirely pink–I want to say that somehow that rosy shade has something to do with red sauce.

San Loco
At the time, a quesadilla made sense five hours after a substantial pork chop. Red wine and beet vodka will cloud decision-making (and stain the cracks in your lips to look like dried blood and no one will tell you). And if I have it out for Italian-American food, San Loco is more like a twice a decade anomaly.

Palmyra & Enoteca on Court
Solo since Saturday, I’ve been living like a bachelor left to his devices, garbage piling up, not shaving, ordering delivery. I like Palmyra because it’s faster than Zaytoons. All I really want is the pick of five mezes to eat with pita: labne, foul, babaghanouj, muhamara, mousaka. The tagine used to be lamb leg with prunes and almonds and now it’s chicken (it now says chicken on the menu, it wasn’t a surprise substitution). And they forgot my baklava. Maybe I’ll go back to Zaytoons next time. Enoteca, the casual restaurant next to Marco Polo, which is very Bamonte’s, has a good spicy, oily pizza, the Calabrese with sopressata, n'duja, and olives. It arrived still very hot and crispy.

More pizza? This was from last week, though. At this Neapolitan newcomer I tried both the Calabrese (I prefer Enoteca’s because the n'duja is nice touch) and the Emiliana with cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula. The latter, my favorite, was lighter and the crust held up while the meatier one was a little sogged-up. Maybe not destination pizza, but a fair Lucali alternative in you happen to live in the area (I only went because it’s a few blocks from my Wednesday night Spanish class—if you go on a Friday night it will be packed with waits for tables). Much of the restaurant’s appeal comes from the back garden, which is out of commission for the season.

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