Thursday, December 04, 2008

Get the Lady a Salad

An editor-turned-friend treated me yesterday to lunch at Perbacco where everything is fantastically delicious from the skinny breadsticks to the wine to the agnolotti dal plin. Agnolotti dal plin: tiny pinched tortellini-like pasta packages filled, in this case, with sausage. Ok, they were filled with blood sausage but trust me: scrumptious.

Here's my small complaint, to be filed under "princess and the pea:"

The waiters (handsome!) at fancy Italian restaurants always bring you bread and bread and bread. When you first sit down and are ravenous, bread is precisely what you want. But as the meal progresses and you're midway through your hearty entree, what you really require is salad. I'm not talking about the fussy salad you order as a starter, I'm talking about plain lettuce salad. Ideally they would bring you bread AND salad, but given the choice, I'd take the salad. Trying to put away a plate of blood-sausage agnolotti, even a trencherwoman could use a few leaves of refreshing, stamina-enhancing lettuce. A bite of pasta, a bite of salad, a bite of pasta, etc. until it's all gone. Or you could put some buttery pasta and vinegary salad on the fork at the same time. . . .
 
It was a fabulous lunch and made me wish I were cosmopolitan and Italian and rich so I could eat that way more often. But with salad.

3 comments:

  1. Melvil Dewey12/5/08, 1:30 PM

    Tipsy, I think all this promiscuous eating around is just an avoidance technique because you know that cooking with Lynne Rossetto Kasper as your companion is going to be a pale and enervating experience compared to cooking with Kenny Shopsin. Go ahead, 'fess up. It will make you feel better. You know you're dying for some Patsy's Cashew Chicken.

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  2. You see through me, Melvil. In fact, last night I made Shopsin's Che -- you know, the dish comprised of rice, black bean soup, chili, and a poached egg. The word glop does come to mind, but it was tasty.

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  3. I agree about the bread! It seems absurd to serve something prior to an entree that fills you up in such a dull bloaty way. Since I can no longer eat bread, I bring wheatless crackers to crunch with a cocktail and along the way I've discovered my taste buds stay much more intact. I also have a lot more room for the yummy entree or salad or what have you to come.
    With the price of wheat going up(and which is extremely hard on soils,) maybe some restaurants will rethink their opening gambit.
    I do like a little something to crunch while perusing the menu with a glass of something so how about signature carrot sticks or, hmmm, I wonder what would be alive like salad but be inexpensive and go with drinks?

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