When Alex comes to down that means two things: elevated level of happiness and vegetarian food. Because Alex is a fuzzy ball of happiness, and he lives a meat-free life.
Our first vegetarian stop was Saravanaas, a South Indian restaurant in Murray/Curry Hill with lots of dosas, savory lentil and rice-based crepes. But first, there was poori.
Huge balloons of fried dough = excitement!
The bread was super thin and crispy, cracker-like in some areas, softer in others. But it wouldn't have been as cool if it weren't balloon shaped
We both ordered dosas, mine being the kara dosa, a crispy crepe filled with a layer of spicy onions and potatoes. Don't let the flatness deceive you; it's filling. You're eating a form of rice and mashed potatoes. The dosa came with three condiments, I think sambar and some chutneys, but my lack of Indian food knowledge means I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.
Overall, it's good stuff. You should check it out if you like dosas or have never eaten one before.
Regina Margherita is probably my favorite combination: grape tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Buffalo mozzarella = love. The crust was great—thin but not super-thin so that it could hold up the toppings, slightly chewy, with a bready outer crust, and..flavor! It haz a flavor. Wheaty flavor. I don't think I really understood how much flavor a crust could have until I once had a crust with no flavor; it was like chewing on nothing. So sad.
Mm, pizza bottom action.
The Pizza del Papa was less successful. The toppings sounded awesome—butternut squash cream, smoked mozzarella, and artichoke—but there was too much smoked mozzarella, which overwhelmed just about everything else (although even on its own, I don't think the squash cream had much flavor). Without tomatoes, it tasted like it needed an acid kick. Of course, it was still tasty because the crust is awesome, but it wasn't balanced like the margherita. I want to go back and try other pies, but I mostly want that margherita again.
We couldn't eat in the West Village without stopping at my favorite gelateria, L'Arte del Gelato. But moderation beat gelato-gluttony and, for the first time in my life, we shared a small. A small! But that small cup of chocolate and pistachio gelato was enough to satiate our swollen bellies. I though, "This would never happen with Kathy"—she would surely order a large—but it's good to have a break every now and then. ;)
As long as the break doesn't involve not eating gelato.
81 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016