It was a quiet Memorial day, the weather was beautiful, and AV and I had just made mojitos. All that muddling had made us hungry, so where could we go but Cavatappo Grill?
We wandered over to First Avenue and were surprised that CG had its sidewalk seating open. Hurrah! We grabbed a two-top and settled in for some prime people-watching. Our almost absurdly friendly waiter took our order and brought us silverware, water, and bread ("Because even prisoners get bread and water!" Uh, yes, true, I guess). The bread was standard Cavatappo-- I find its shape a little weird (strips?), but this was briefly warmed in the oven before it arrived on our table, so bonus points for that. Once again we played the game of "try to access the balsamic vinegar buried beneath the oil in the shallow dipping dish," and once again we both failed. Oh well. Dipping oil, even sans elsuive vinegar, is still good.
Our food arrived quickly. Once again, I had gone with the cremini mushrooms, pears, walnuts, fontina cheese, and white truffle oil salad. And once again this salad was truly spectacular. With the white truffle oil, it's intensely flavorful, and with the cheese and walnuts, it's surprisingly hearty. It filled me up and left me very satisfied.
AV had been vacillating between the veal ravioli in prosciutto cream sauce and the rigatoni with eggplant, tomato sauce, and ricotta. Being the vegetarian advocate I am, I voted for the rigatoni, and after a long deliberation process, AV finally concurred. And a great choice it was: I took a couple of bites, and this pasta was superlative. The tomato sauce was very hearty, and the eggplant was soft and yielding. This dish made me miss eating pasta on a regular basis even more than I usually do. Sigh.
1712 First Avenue, between 88th and 89th Streets