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Friday, February 1, 2013

Dining well in the Big Apple

When most people think of New Year's Eve in New York, they think of the ball dropping. My family always manages to be an exception. We had been in crowded places all week, and crowds of up to one million were expected to show at the Times Square festivities. To even get a decent view, people started claiming spots around midday!

Instead of that alternative, my family spent the day strolling around Brooklyn, and then around dinner time, we made reservations at a little Brooklyn restaurant called Piccoli Trattoria.

This restaurant had unfortunately planned a table for us that was taken by some extremely loquacious and slow eating customers. So we sat, for about an hour, speaking with the hilarious waiter and interesting manager. The manager was engaging, and was a food enthusiast, much like my family.

When we could finally order, we were as enthusiastic as could be. My mother had ordered a squid ink dish. It looked a little unappealing, but once I was eating it, the creaminess and complex favors of this dish were amazing. The squid was tender and had escaped the typical rubberiness that results from over-cooking.

The ravioli that my brother had gotten was squash and beef, with a sauce that perfectly complimented it. My dad and I, both being meat lovers, ordered medium rare steaks with the most flavorful lime and cilantro sauce on top. Each dish also came with a side of delicious vegetables.

Throughout the meal, the manager carried on pleasant conversation with us, and the restaurant slowly emptied as it got later.

Although dinner was spectacular, I must say that the desserts stole the show. At first, my parents didn't want to order any, but I was so set on it that I even used my best puppy eyes. In the end, we ended up ordering Nougat Gelato and Molten Carmel Cake.

The Gelato managed to be fluffy, even though it was a frozen delicacy. The chunks of nougat were a sweet treat in the middle of the melt-on-your-tounge frozen cream surrounding it. The cake had warm dark caramel poured generously over it and had copious amounts of house-made whipped cream on top.

My parents and the manager kept chatting about the importance of food and shared many funny stories about both of our families. While we finished eating, the clock neared the New Year, and the waiters poured the few remaining customers each a glass of complimentary champagne. At twelve, everyone toasted and let out little whoops of joy. On the way home I could think of no better way to have spent that night.

The meal and company at this little restaurant were fantastic. I'm hoping that the experience was just a taste of the wonderful things I'm going to eat and do this year!

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