"Stalking" Downtown Lunch: Capri Caffe
I’ve been “stalking” Downtown Lunch for a while now… DK said Vietnamese on Baxter (mentioning a place I hadn’t yet been), so off I went. Zach says there’s an Indian food festival going on… there you found me. Of course, there was the Rosario’s debacle – I tried to blog about this place a lot of times, but couldn’t (I swear, my computer ate the post twice, and then other times, I just was like, I don’t want to share! sorry but it’s true! I used to go to this place once a week!)… In any case, when DK talked about this fantastic Italian place close to my high school… well, I had to go. And I had to take my lunch buddy, the one who was always always down to try something new, the Italian food afficionado (if you have an Italian mother, you’re automatically an Italian food lover; if you have two Italian parents, well, watch out!), my closest coworker, Orzo… since he was leaving the country in a week for a month, then a few weeks after that, for a year. That’s right, kiddies, this Downtown Lunch’er is now flying solo for lunch… err… sort of.
In any case, Orzo and I decided to go here for our last hurrah. It sounded too good – beating out the other Downtown Lunch options we’d labeled “To Try” – and so we went on a sad Wednesday two weeks ago now.
Being that this was the last hurrah, we went all out and ordered a ton of antipasti from the bar. It was choose your own, so we chose practically a little bit of everything from the very fresh selections. A sign nearby proclaimed that the antipasti started at $1.50 each.
When all was said and done, we came out with eight selections.
From the left and around: celery root; roasted red peppers; Portobello mushrooms; olive assortment; three bean salad; roasted cauliflower with golden raisins; zucchini; and in the center, fresh mozzarella with basil (special request- this wasn’t in the case, though when we asked for it, it wasn’t met with much surprise).
Though Orzo said his least favorite of all the items were the cauliflower, I told him to eat it with the golden raisins and he declined. I thought it was delicious as is, but the golden raisins brought it to another level.
We hadn’t been sure what the celery root was when we saw it in the case, so we asked, and it intrigued us duly. This was a great call; I’d had no idea what it might be like, but it was really quite something – soft and full of flavor.
The rest of the items were good but not outstanding or particularly special… just right for an antipasti, what you’d expect.
And then our pastas came.
Orzo had dutifully ordered the manicotti, as DK’s review had stated specifically how much he enjoyed this dish. I tried a bite and found it to be everything DK had promised – soft, fresh, delicious, full of delicious cheese and extremely… yummy. Orzo finished his dish in double time.
I simply can’t resist bolognese most of the time, and this time was no exception. Rigatoni bolognese came piping hot, oozy and just meaty enough. The pasta itself, not fresh, which isn’t a big deal but after sampling Orzo’s dish, I was kicking myself for not choosing differently.
Look at that! How can you not be hungry after seeing that? (Cuz I sure am…)
While the place is tiny and won’t hold more than a few tables, it was cozy enough and everyone who was eating there was kind enough to obligingly shift over so I could reach the inside seat at our table. We arrived around 1:30 or so and it wasn’t quite packed but filled with people drifting in and out, and lots of people came by to order lunch to go while we sat there. This is definitely one of my new favorite places to go, though we did wind up taking a nearly two hour lunch (it’ll have to be to go the next time I go) in order to go back and forth on the slow 1 train (I’ll try the R train next time, though I can’t imagine that being quicker).
***Our bill, with a generous tip, came out to $30 total. Unfortunately we didn’t receive a bill so I can’t tell you exactly how much our antipasti were each…
Yvo says: All in all, a great little place to have a yummy lunch for not that much money. I’d prefer to sit and eat, but I don’t blame people for running in and grabbing things to go. I think I can make a lunch out of just the antipasti next time, if it’s too hot for a full pasta dish! The workers all were so authentically Italian, it made me happy just thinking about it and talking to them, trying to understand the accented English. They were super friendly as well.
highly recommended! go here… but don’t get in my way
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