Sometimes, making someone you care about happy is all that matters… and it’s enough to make you incredibly happy as well. Luckily, in this case, neither of us was ‘just making the other happy’ – we were both genuinely happy on our own! 😉 BF and I love movies, if that isn’t clear. We go to the movies pretty often, and one of our main theaters is the Union Square UA due to its proximity to a favored comic book store (oh yes, we are both pretty nerdy for comics, though we have different taste, we still have some series that we share with each other!), Forbidden Planet. Recently, we hopped in the car and drove down without much of a plan except “Let’s go see Up in the Air” (don’t read this if you don’t like reading about movies you haven’t seen yet, even though there’s no plot spoilers: it sucked, ugh, ugh, ugh, this guy in our row actually LEAPT out of his seat and VAULTED over 5+ people to get out with only 5 minutes left, and he screamed “I just don’t care!” as he left), which meant dinner was a bit … well, up in the air. As it was really cold and a bit rainy, I didn’t want to just wander around looking for a place – my normal MO – so I whipped out my BlackBerry and just Google’d for an Italian restaurant nearby (since BF wanted Italian).
Borgo Antico was the first result on Google. (I may have mentioned before that while both of us love Italian food, we operate very differently; I expect to be disappointed by random Italian places and will seldom attempt an Italian restaurant without much prior research and/or recommendation from trusted sources, while BF will try any Italian joint, maybe operating on the premise that most Italian can’t be that bad. I disagree, but I gamely go with this attitude when we dine together because I have been pleasantly surprised occasionally.)
I didn’t take a picture of the outside because it was raining and I dislike getting my camera even damp. I must mention that when we walked in, the host seemed curious about us, and asked if we had reservations (no, we did not), though the restaurant upstairs was mostly empty. I was a bit intimidated and hung back, but BF plowed forward and they took our coats, led us upstairs to a cozy table towards the back, and handed us menus.
At Italian places, BF and I often split what we order so we can try more food. Yep, he’s that guy for me when it comes to Italian food. So we opted to start with fettucini bolognese (I think – I feel like this was pappardelle but the online menu has a different description…). One of the nice things here was that we told the server we were splitting that, so they put it on two plates for us. We would have happily eaten from the same dish, but no worries – this was a nice touch. As for the pasta, both of us were incredibly pleased with the al dente pasta, cooked perfectly, seasoned well, with a delicious veal ragu. I practically licked my plate clean… that’s how good I found it. YUM. We were both nodding and smiling at each other goofily at this point, happy with our choice.
We tried to deviate from our norms – I don’t recall why – but BF chose saltimobocca, which reminded me of a dish I had at Cola’s, except pork – topped with prosciutto, pounded thin, then sauteed in a rich sauce. Mmm, not bad. BF didn’t like it too much but I thought it was fine, and wound up eating most of this because…
Our other dish, a special that day – roasted lamb shank – blew BF’s mind away. Incredibly tender, fragrant, not gamey at all, and just so succulent and delicious, he was amazed at how soft the meat was and how great it was. If you recall, I ordered this at Regate and actually have been meaning to try my hand at making this at home (once I get myself a heavy Dutch oven… soon!). BF ate the large majority of this and REALLY enjoyed it… which means I must make it sooner than later because I love feeding him 🙂 and because I didn’t get very much of it 😉 hahaha.
We were both pretty full by this time, but a quick browse of the dessert menu and the BF said “Come on, they have panna cotta, that’s your FAVORITE dessert, we HAVE to get it!” so I smilingly agreed. And I’m really glad I did – the texture was different from most other panna cottas I’ve had, which BF kept raving over until I shot him the death stare and said “My panna cotta is better” hahaha. Creamy and smooth, yielding to a light touch…
Yvo says: Overall, a great meal, despite the weirdness when we first walked in which dissipated by the time we left (the maitre’d was joking around with me about my pink umbrella when we left). Surprising and yummy, I’m glad BF requested Italian and even more glad that this was the first place to pop up on Google. We would definitely both go back. Yum.