Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bits and Morsels pre-theaters at Orso

Pickled eggs at Northern Spy Food Co.

Saturday night I had dinner at Orso and took in some culture in the form of the new Broadway show, Come Fly Away.

Orso is located on restaurant row at 322 West 46th Street. It's no secret that the food at Orso is consistently good, but it's the the staff (from the front to the back) that takes Orso to the next level. Kevin, the maître d', is especially warm and presides with one of the most infectious smiles in the business. Pre-theater dining can be a stressful experience (I can't count how many times I have inhaled dinner to get to a show on time), but Orso has an excellent handle on making sure you are on time, somehow never making you feel rushed. You do need to make a reservation as they are almost always packed.

The Italian fare is squeaky-cleanly prepared; and each dish is served on attractive ceramic dishes. You can’t go wrong with the eggplant parmigiana or any of the pizzas. Even the brussels sprouts, which are not my favorite vegetable, were garlicky and scrumptious. For dessert I had the chocolate ganache bread pudding — and you should too. I hope to be back, even on a night when I am not bound for the theater.

322 West 46th
The entrance to Orso. Kevin is the maître d'.
Inside Orso.
Orso ,which has been open for 27 years, was named for the owner’s dog, pictured here.
Stalks of wheat separate the kitchen from the dining room.
Roasted brussels sprouts with garlic.
Pizza with mushrooms, spinach, smoked mozzarella and olives.
Eggplant parmigiana.
Just a little more Nebbiolo wine before dessert, which consisted of chocolate ganache bread pudding.
Come Fly Away is a combination of the songs of Frank Sinatra and the brilliant choreography of Twyla Tharp. The show comprises a live band and a female vocalist, but the songs are all courtesy of Frank Sinatra. The show takes place in a night club and follows four couples throughout their initial meeting, dating, breaking up, and everything in between. Basically, you see the relationships evolve from “I’ve Got a Crush on You” to “My Way.” All told through song and dance Twyla and Frank's way. The show is in previews and opens on March 25th.

Come Fly Away
at the Marquis Theatre. This past weekend, The New York Times did a profile on Twyla Tharp and Come Fly Away.
On Sunday, I went to The Northern Spy Food Co. for brunch. It’s a new, casual addition to the neighborhood; and it's all about serving local and sustainable food. The restaurant is named for the Northern Spy Apple, which is one of New York State’s classic apples. The Northern Spy Food Co. has created a laid back, homey atmosphere, even selling locally made items like jams and pickles in the back of the restaurant. They also sell Liddabit caramels at the register. Just to warn you, Liddabits are quite addictive.

Back to brunch: It was pretty standard stuff, but tasty. They are known for their Chicken and Egg sandwich, which they were out of (at around 2 PM), so I can't vouch for it. Go early if you want to try it and let me know how it is. Either way, you should definitely order a side of biscuits, which are made in house and served hot. They have a wide selection of beers on their menu and they make their own flavored seltzers.
At the Tompkins Square Park Green Market: I love the apples, especially the Northern Spies (right).
The wait on Sunday was about 40 minutes for a table, so after giving your name take a walk around the neighborhood. Tompkins Square Park is close by so go visit their Greenmarket (on Sundays).

The Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th Street
Blood orange seltzer. Cornbread with sweet onion yogurt.
A side of biscuits.
Bread and squash salad with 2 baked eggs.
Slow whisked scrambled eggs.
French toast with maple whipped cream and pecans.
Northern Spy Apple Pie.
They sell Liddabit Sweets. My favorite: ricotta orange honey caramels.
There are now more healthy foods to choose from when strolling in Central Park. Starting next month, a selection of food carts will be selling reasonably priced fruit. I love getting an ice cream sandwich (even with freezer burn) in the park, but it’s nice to know there will be other healthier options. [NY Post]

A new food magazine and web site is being launch to target male cooks. Good Cooking is a new magazine by the Deen brothers that will feature low maintenance recipes that should appeal to men. I didn’t realize male cooks were so under served. I bet more women end up buying the magazine. [Media Week]

The best way to clean out your pantry
of all those half empty bags of snacks is to bake them in amnesty cookies, aka compost cookies. The cookies will seriously take to any mix of sweet and savory ingredients ranging from goldfish crackers to butterscotch chips. If you don’t want to bake them yourself, you can pick some up at  Momofuku Milk Bar at 207 2nd Avenue. [David Lebovitz
A recently conducted study shows that women who moderately consume alcohol are less likely to gain weight than women non-drinkers. The link between drinking and gaining less weight was especially strong when the alcohol involved was red wine. These results have yet to be replicated in male drinkers. [NY Times]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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