Above: It was such a beautiful fall day in Manhattan yesterday, perfect for some noshing, tasting, and strolling. Before we hit Kesté Pizza e Vino, I took Tracie B for some rice balls, prosciutto balls, and potato croquettes at Faicco’s Pork Store on Bleeker (old school, no website). There aren’t many things I miss about living in the City, but Faicco is one of them. (Photos by Tracie B, except for this one, obviously.)
Ever since reading Eric’s post in April, Tracie B and I have been dying to get to Kesté in Manhattan. We both needed to be at work on Monday morning so we only had a few precious hours yesterday to visit the City before we jumped on a plane to head back to Austin. (That would be The City, the apotheosis of cities!)
Above: The Regina Margherita at Kesté. Tracie B also ordered another Neapolitan classic, Broccoli Raab and Sausage (white) Pizza, and pizzaiolo Roberto also sent over his signature Battilocchio, yesterday with figs and gorgonzola.
Who better to eat authentic Neapolitan pizza with than our good friend Michele Scicolone? Charles was otherwise occupied on his way back from Montefalco and the “Experimental Classification of Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG tasting” and conference so it was up to me to accompany these two beautiful ladies to lunch.
Above: Michele is the author of countless tomes on Italian cookery. She and Charles are another thing I miss about living in New York.
I wish I could share with you the joy of dining alla napoletana with Tracie B, who lived for nearly five years in Ischia off the coast of Naples: at Kesté, she was like a kid in a Neapolitan candy store and with her eagle eyes, she swiftly selected a wine that wasn’t on the list and that I had never tasted before, Lettere.
Above: I had never had a wine from Lettere (Penisola Sorrentina) before. It was delicious.
But you’ll have to tune into her blog My Life Italian for a report on that part. As they say in Latin, ubi major minor cessat: I don’t know anyone else in the world who knows more about Campania wines than her and she’s promised us a blog post about this wonderful bottle.
I guess there are a few things (bagels, pastrami, pork stores, friends like Charles and Michele, not necessarily in that order) that I miss about living in Manhattan. But without Tracie B at my side, they just wouldn’t be any fun, would they?
We had a great time on the East Coast but we were both so happy to get back to Austin where we belong. There’s no place like my new home, Dorothy…
Tomorrow, part II: tasting natural Beaujolais with you-know-who (who else?). Stay tuned…