This is about a week late, at least. I mentioned in my post of Honey-Apple Sugar Cookies that my boyfriend took me out in the LES and we had the best night. Everything we did, ate, drank, saw was fantastic! First we stopped at Butter Lane Cupcakes (East Village – not LES – minor details ;)). We got 6 different cupcakes and they were ALL amazing!!
I’m skipping ahead a bit but I was making the cookies (after dinner & sorbet) and all the sudden I heard my handsome man saying his stomach was killing him and that he tried every cupcake. I laughed, thinking he was joking. Then I opened the lid of the bakery box we got at Butter Lane & every single cupcake had one massive bite taken out! I laughed so hard I was actually crying. It was a sight, I wish I had taken a picture. I at least have a picture from before the cupcake massacre.
Moving on! My handsome man had looked up restaurants for us to try out (how cute is he?). At first we couldn’t find Falai Panetteria, a small Italian eatery with homemade pastas and bread. It sits on the corner of Clinton and Rivington Sts (79 Clinton St). The windows are beautiful, with frosted flowers, I don’t know what it was but we almost walked right by the place during the mission to find it. But thank God we didn’t! Inside you’ll find about ten white tables with modern blue chairs. Antique Italian posters and mirrors adorn the walls. The kitchen is quaint (using hot plates instead of a stove!) but clearly good enough to produce some fantastic dishes!
Anywhere we go that has a cheese plate, handsome man will want it. And along with the cheese plate comes the bottle of Pinot Grigio. Both were delicious, we got cacciatorini salami to pair with the cheeses since we’ve never heard of it all served with a bit of olive tapenade. Amazing, a perfect start to a perfect dinner.
We both decided to go with a pasta dish since they all sounded so divine! I went with the Pappardelle alla Crema Di Parmigiano - parmesan sauce, Brussels sprouts & sage butter. The pappardelle was made with an almond flour, so good! The sauce was no where near as thick and heavy as an alfredo which was fantastic, the sage butter lightened it up even more, and made the sauce pop. I gave handsome man a taste and I think he got a bit jealous! But that’s not to say his wasn’t amazing, because it was packed with flavor. I would have taken his dish in a second, and gobbled it right up.
He got the Tagliolini al Nero di Seppia, squid ink tagliolini, prawns, calamari, tomato sauce, & red pepper. The sauce had a little heat (a good bit of spice, not so hot you can’t taste anything afterward), it may have been one of the better tomato sauces I’ve ever had. I have a soft spot for squid ink pasta, it never fails me, and Falai’s tagliolini was no different. They’re pastas are delicate yet filling. The plates aren’t huge but they’re just enough to make you feel extremely satisfied. That might also have something to do with just how absolutely fantastic the food and the quality of food is. Hats off to the chef working the hot plates.
I will definitely return very soon. It was too good not to revisit. The prices are more than fair, better than most restaurants in the city (even the terrible ones!). If I lived in the neighborhood (it’s ashame I don’t!), Falai Panetteria is where you’d find me.
You’d think maybe we wouldn’t be hungry after cheese, pasta and a whole bottle of wine but you’d be wrong!! Handsome man decided to walk me along Houston before going home. After all that’s where the infamous Katz’s Delicatessen is located. I had never been so he wanted to show me (such a sweetheart), we walked in, you get a ticket with a number on it. (RETURN TICKET BEFORE LEAVING! – a sign reads) The place is huge, every where you look someone has a pastrami sandwich (and at least 3 pickles!). It smelled fantastic and we decided that one drunken night we might stumble there for a late night snack (it’s open until 2:45am after all).
He thought we might head home…until we passed this warehouse of an ice cream laboratory! It’s called il laboratorio del gelato and you must stop in. They had at least 30 flavors available when we were there, maybe 40. We didn’t want to go with the same old stuff so we asked the girl working behind the counter to suggest some of her favorites for us. This girl knew her stuff, I wish I had gotten a name.
We got to choose 4 flavors (we got a quart, what’s the point of going smaller we said to ourselves). To start with something a little traditional we chose malted milk chocolate, the girl behind the counter said the black mission fig tasted just like fig newtons so of course we chose that next. Then she told us there was one that would blow us away, corn. She let us have a small taste, for me that was all I needed to get hooked. Lastly, the girl behind the counter told us we should finish it off with something fruity and we agreed so we went with strawberry.
We couldn’t even wait until we got home to try some more, as soon as we got in the cab we tore open the bag, popped the lid and dug in with our cute little blue spoons. I LOVE this girl behind the counter! I’m completely addicted to the corn gelato so I’m digging in there, then the strawberry, then corn then fig, then chocolate then the strawberry and it continued for both of us until we got home. We quickly closed the lid and brought it inside, only to open it right back up!
I know you’re probably all thinking, please explain this corn gelato. I have to tell you, it was the lightest of all the flavors we chose. It was sweet but not too sweet, you could still taste a hint of corn but it was most definitely a dessert. I’d choose corn gelato over vanilla any day. I’m obsessed. I need to go back as soon as possible. And you should all try it if you’re ever in the area, it’s hard to miss on the corner of Houston & Ludlow.
I have to mentioned the guy behind the counter. Poor fella, he heard us getting all excited over the crazy flavors we could try. Then his customer walks in and goes “I’ll have chocolate and vanilla.” I think he added a pause to emphasize how disappointed he was they didn’t want to try anything new. He seemed incredulous to the fact that this person had no desire to even look, he couldn’t offer his opinions on what flavors they should try. Here we are, right next to him, going nuts over the corn gelato. He responded with “Just vanilla and chocolate?” Next time we come in, guy behind the counter, we will come to you for your expert opinion. It’s too fun to be in there and not try something new.
And thus ends the story of our One Night in the Lower East Side. It was fantastic, full of some of the best food and fun I’ve had in a while, and I have my amazing handsome man to thank for that.