Tarallucci e Vino
In Italian,” finire a tarallucci e vino” (literally, to finish up with cookies and wine), means to say that there was a happy ending. At the Tarallucci e Vino restaurant at 15 East 18 Street near Union Square in NYC,we were happy not just with the ending of the meal, but everything else from appetizers to dessert.
We had the tasting menu, so we got to try a number of different things. My photos don’t really do them justice, so I’ll just post a few of the best ones. Above is a roasted sea scallop with wild mushrooms and a poached quail egg.
Among the starters were these fried sage leaves stuffed with anchovies and mozzarella. I like to stuff zucchini blossoms this way, but this inspired combination means that I can make them even when the blossoms are not available. The sauce was nice and fresh, but the crunchy sage and tasty filling really didn’t need it. Many more good things followed.
Did I mention the bread basket? Charles could not stop eating the flatbread flavored with squid ink, rosemary and olive oil. I know it sounds odd, but take my word for it, I was glad he ate it all so I could not. There were also warm little baguettes and olive rolls.
We’ve long been fans of Tarallucci e Vino and weekend mornings often find us there enjoying one of New York’s best cappuccinos and a perfect Italian-style cornetto. On our recent trip to Abruzzo, we met Lorenzo, who is the manager for all 4 of the restaurant’s branches. He invited us to come by for dinner to the 18th Street location and we were glad we did. It’s one of New York’s best kept Italian restaurant secrets. The place was cozy and the atmosphere lively. Charles had only good things to say about the wine list and in honor of our last trip ordered the Cantina Frentana Coccociola, an unusual white wine from Abruzzo, and the Emidio Pepe 2003 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, which was superb.