Spontaneous plans (and Torrisi Italian Specialties)

We’re back from Cape Cod! We had a terrific time and are looking forward to sharing a few favorite photos–and a full travelogue–soon! In the meantime, we wanted to share a dinner we recently enjoyed in the city…

We’ve been talking about making it into Torrisi for dinner for what seems like ages–it doesn’t take reservations and the night’s three seatings (6pm, 7:45pm, and 9:45 pm, each with under 20 seats) are filled within minutes of their opening their doors at 5:30. In other words, dining here is very unpredictable, and therefore topped our pre-baby bucket list!

Last week–Saturday–however, we happened to be riding our bikes through Nolita around opening time, so we hopped into line and crossed our fingers. As luck would have it, they had two seats open for 6pm and two for 9:45pm; we opted for the latter and quickly rode home to clean ourselves up!

A few hours later, we returned and, seated at a small four-top with another couple, proceeded to have one of our most memorable meals–we’re still talking about how delicious it was, days later! (Here’s New York Magazine’s glowing review.) For $50, you get a set four-course menu (your only choice is the fish or the meat for your main, there are no substitutions), put together before your eyes with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients–the kind of fresh Italian (red-sauce antithesis) cooking you rarely find outside of Italy!

Made-to-order mozzarella in a pool of olive oil was a standout for me, as was an antipasti of fairytale eggplants with tuna, while Aron can’t stop raving about the baby pasta shells with calamari. The desserts were also outstanding: a tray of housemade cookies that turned sweet and savory on their heads with sunflower seed biscuits, celery and black pepper shortbread cookies, and rhubarb squares flavored with earl grey tea leaves. As soon as our meal was over, we wished we could do it all again.

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