I want to start eating, already! – Making my way to New York Restaurant Week, Part 1

It was a long day.  What was supposed to be eighty minute flight from Toronto to New York turned into a waiting game.  My day began with our 6:30 a.m.  flight getting cancelled, then bumped from the next flight which was oversold,  followed by a mechanical failure on the third flight and then transferred to another airline and getting the last two seats.  We finally got into LaGuardia twelve hours later!

Arriving in Manhattan, we were hungry, tired and frustrated since we had missed two reservations for lunch and dinner which had been made several weeks in advance.  It was now 8:00 p.m. as we walked by Dos Caminos, where we had a 6:00 p.m.reservation, we quietly hoped that maybe, just maybe we could get in, but not a chance, it was NY restaurant week and the place was packed with a forty-five minute wait for tables.

ninospositanoWe ventured down 2nd Avenue looking for somewhere with a good menu, but more importantly at this time of night, a place that had tables available.  After looking at a few places along the way, we stumbled on Nino’s Positano.  A typical New York Italian resto complete with sidewalk patio with a red awning and a display freezer with a dozen flavours of gelato.  We are drawn in by the homey  menu of familiar favourites and the selection of wine.

The maitre’d sat us at a quiet table with a good view of the street.  A few tables of small parties of three or four were starting their meals, the smell of pizza baking in the wood oven wafted through the air.  By this time, I am getting hungrier.

I order a glass of wine, and we take a quick look at the menu.  The smell of pizza is overwhelming in my state of starvation.  I order a salad to start and the Polpetini pizza, a thin crust pizza withpizza ny tomato sauce, baby meatballs, fresh sage and basil.

My daughter orders the pasta special which is handmade linguine, salmon with a scallop sauce.  The bread basket arrives and we devour it with EVOO.

As we wait for our orders we listen and watch the parade of yellow cabs rolling down 2nd avenue.  It’s a beautiful warm night with no humidity, a contrast to the week before when NYC had been under siege by a wave of heat and humidity.   We refine the details of our eating and shopping strategy for the next two days.

The pasta arrives.  Freshly made noodles are tender,  the salmon is fresh and done right. The dish is rendered wonderful with the white wine scallop sauce topped with the right amount of “too much” freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

There’s a family at the next table with a very well-behaved toddler, who’s clearly been to the restaurant before.  The waiter asks him if he enjoyed his pasta, the little boy gives him two tiny thumbs up.  The waiter congratulates him on finishing his supper and presents him with a plate of tiny biscotti dusted with powdered sugar. He laughs happily and gives the waiter two more thumbs up.

pasta nyc

I order a second glass of wine as I continue enjoying the pizza with its thin crust and tomato sauce that certainly did not come from a can.

There are hundreds of places like this all over New York.  I don’t think you can ever go wrong, well maybe you can, but Nino’s is not one of those places.  A friendly, energetic staff even though it was late made sure that water was filled and checked regularly for any requests.

Nino has four locations in New York.  It’s been around for many years and has catered to the stars at it Upper West Side location and other locations across the city.

My hunger satiated, my blood sugar back up, I begin to feel normal again.  My excitement is back about being in New York and about being here for restaurant week.

So off to the hotel for a good night’s rest for my next 48 hours of New York Restaurant week.  Back with more stories of my NYC eating adventures. Ciao!

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