The original intention was to go to the Corner Bistro – a very old, unadorned gem on West 4th Street whose combination of a jazz-filled jukebox, decadent cheeseburgers and McSorley's dark ale on tap makes it the perfect place to surrender on a winter afternoon and do some hardcore people watching. Last week I saw an old lady pushing a dog in a stroller.
My recently developed obsession with the Bistro however, has consequently led to a seemingly endless ingestion of cheeseburgers, the physical repercussions of which are thus far unnoticed but surely loom on the horizon as cloaked harbingers of a cholesterol-based apocalypse. So instead I tried a cute looking joint down the block, called Extra Virgin, whose menu promised a Tomato Soup with a Grilled Fontina Cheese Sandwich that seemed to perfectly supplement my already delightful winter day in dowtown Manhattan. Here are some other highlights from the meal:
White Truffle Mac & Cheese Tart. People generally tend to get very excited upon seeing the word 'truffle' in the description of a dish, and rightfully so. Truffle oil makes lots of things taste better. While this mac & cheese didn't necessarily feature the most profound manifestation of truffle oil in a dish, it still tasted pretty legit. The addition of bread crumbs and the flaky pastry extraneously draped on top succeeded at adding a nice contrast of textures.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sauteed Apples and Pancetta. Honestly, just add a dead, cured pig to almost anything and it will make it unspeakably better.
Rigatoni Bolognese. Even though this is such a basic, straightforward staple, for some reason it's really difficult to see it on a menu and not order it. In this case I was digging the excessive presence of shaved parmesan. The carrots were also a nice touch, seeing as how they don't find their way into every bolognese you come across. Perfectly cooked pasta, large chunks of ground beef and pork, hefty dollop of ricotta. Ain't much wrong here.