It’s dangerous to write about food on an empty stomach.
This past week, as we scramble to get more content up on the site in anticipation of a soft launch, I find myself craving foods I ate last weekend or even several months ago: a fried whole Caribbean fish, a particular hot dog, a pasta dish. How can I not when rereading notes and calling to mind said hot dog’s crisp snap and tangy onion sauce? How can I possibly research the history of local NYC breweries and not want a cold beer? At 3pm, no less.
Today was the most torturous, though, as I revisited the buttery, cheesy, meaty egg pastas of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna, the northern region considered by many to be Italy’s culinary capital. Just the thought of the butter-and-sage-soaked tortelloni of Bologna had me cursing my healthy veggie burger lunch and searching for the best Italian restaurant in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, my corner of Queens—just about equally dominated by South and Southeast Asians and South Americans—is not exactly celebrated for its regional Italian food, and though I knew the restaurant a block away makes a decent tortellini en brodo, I also knew the tortellini were not homemade a la Italia. And while the wine shop down the street carries a good Lambrusco, ideally I’d drink it while snacking on a plate of creamy prosciutto di Parma…which I was unlikely to find around here.
Why couldn’t I be writing about something my ’hood has in spades, like Colombian arepas or South Indian dosas, this week?
As I saw it, my options were to ride the subway to Soho to try Michael White’s new Emilia-Romagna-inspired Osteria Morini, or else suck it up and pair my fizzy, Queens-bought Lambrusco with…super spicy Thai food. A sommelier probably wouldn’t approve, but at least one of my Italian cravings was satisfied—for now.