UWS’s landmark gathering spot the latest to close its doors. Isabella’s shuttered for good yesterday after decades of meeting, greeting and eating. One of the few outdoor cafes left where you could sit in the sun. Not blocked by shade of ugly dank scaffolding. Sad.
Gramercy Tavern. Dinner tasting menu. Wine pairings. With my favorite two guys. Best gift!
Blood Orange, Fennel and Pumpkin Seeds
Riesling, Martin Muthenthaler Ried Bruck, Wachau, Austria 2012
Celery Root, Leeks and Caviar
Chardonnay, Walter Scott, Vojtilla Vineyard, Chehalem Mountains, Oregon 2013
Cabbage, Cashews and Pickled Ginger
Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon, Clos Floridène, Graves, France 2013
Arugula, Bone Marrow and Crispy Gremolata
Champagne Christophe Mignon, Pur Meunier, Brut Nature Blanc de Noirs, Festigny, France
Red Onion, Black Truffle and Lemon Confit
Niellucciu, Clos Canarelli, Corse Figari, France 2012
Da Silvano closed this week. Arrivederci to an Italian classico. Dating favorite in Greenwich Village from back in the early ’80’s. And many times since. Outdoor sidewalk people watching. Cozy indoor ziti al forno. Abalone was the best thing ever. Can still taste it. Extinction now for both.
Recalls the fall of another landmark Italian trattoria from my youth. Wedding eve fest capped decades of vino and festas at the Grotta Azzurra on Mulberry & Broome in Little Italy. From the days of Enrico Caruso. Grapevines and arches. Closed for six years. But. Just looked it up. It’s open again. Who knew?
Lots of restaurant experiences in past several weeks. Favorite spot to hang on a beautiful Fall day~ Tavern on the Green outside bar. Resort in the Park.
Other faves. Mermaid Inn. 88th & Amsterdam. Best little necks. A.G. Kitchen. Columbus Avenue staple in the ‘hood. Fresh & good. Isabella’s. Fun outside people-watching next to Natural History Museum. Scene better than cuisine.
Just okay. Cafe Luxembourg. Upper Broadway. A bit dated. Untitled at the Whitney in the Meat Packing. Uninspired space in a touristy vibe. The Ribbon. Near the Dakota. Dark more winter cozy. Back room better. Tessa. By the Beacon. Uneven and unmemorable. With the requisite scaffolding.
Won’t go back. Motorino new pizza parlor uptown. A bit soggy thin crust. Cafe Frida. Mexican with no flare. Cesca. Dingy room. Canned Italian.
Famous people found around the Table’s Edge. Besides Elizabeth Taylor.
Rachel Maddow. A regular at Green Street Café. She was a local radio personality in Northampton, Massachusetts before she rose to Queen of MSNBC.
Sous-chef at Curtis & Schwartz, Gabrielle Hamilton. She became acclaimed author of Blood, Bones & Butter and still holds court at her East Village gem, Prune.
President Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge Park Café.
Virginia Woolf meets Jim Wolff’s waitress. My favorite obituary headline ever:
HELEN LAVALLE, 94, ADVISED ELIZABETH TAYLOR
“Amongst her many jobs, Helen was a waitress at the former Williams House, where she was the only waitress who could tell Elizabeth Taylor that one lobster was enough.”
-Daily Hampshire Gazette
Elizabeth Taylor was at Smith College in the 60’s filming “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, with Richard Burton. Assume that’s when she may have tried to indulge in local lobster binge-ing and Helen Lavalle would have none of it. The old Williams House in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, was famous for its haute cuisine brought to the Valley by Jim Wolff, featured in Table’s Edge.
Thanks to all who bought Table’s Edge this holiday season and over the past 10 + years. As we migrate back to our roots in New York City this Spring, we will remember our time in Northampton, Massachusetts in the Pioneer Valley. Those who retain their great cuisine are India House and La Veracruzana. Godspeed and good eating.
~ Carol Colitti Levine
Northampton has lost a stalwart in its dining history. Dan Yacuzzo, former owner of Eastside Grill. Got his start at Roger Kirwood’s original fern bar, Fitzwilly’s where Dan in turn trained current CEO, Fred Gohr.
Dan and his wife Gail were dining royalty in Paradise City. All of their stories and recipes can be found in Table’s Edge.