It was, after many months, a dining-out frenzy this past week, with my recovering husband Stu and friends we hadn’t seen because of his illness. But thankfully he is recovering and we are back on track going to some of our favorite places to dine and see friends we had missed.
The week began with a visit to Patrizia’s of Bayside, the restaurant that recently opened in the luxurious, stunning setting of the former Valentino’s at the foot of the Throgs Neck Bridge. With new operators the setting is the same but the menu has been totally redone. The moderately priced Italian-style offerings come from a family with restaurants in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Connecticut.
The next day I had a superb meal at Fabio Piccolo Fiore in Manhattan, just minutes from the Midtown Tunnel. Owned by Fabio Hakill and Nick Nubile from Whitestone, I’ve written about the restaurant many times because I’m always in awe of the presentation of the food, the service by the professional waiters and the deliciousness of each dish.
On this visit I had a perfectly prepared crab cake. It was 100 percent jumbo crab meat, something that I rarely find on a menu. Although there is a large selection of salads I couldn’t pass up his whole branzino prepared simply but perfectly with a crusty skin delicately seasoned with lemon and garlic. Lucky for me I saved room for Fabio’s outrageous dessert of mouthwatering warm chocolate cake topped with thick freshly whipped cream.
The next day was the best of all. My beloved son Josh and his beautiful, very pregnant wife Tracey, moved to their new home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They are expecting their first child within days and now they are in their new home, ready for his arrival.
To get to their apartment on the waterfront I took the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to Metropolitan Avenue. Then the fun began. There was an Italian festival street fair filling many blocks. I proceeded up North 6 Street, parallel to Metropolitan. My jaw dropped as I saw block after block of restaurants, outdoor cafes and boutiques as well as bicyclists and gaggles of people filling the streets. To add to the energy of the neighborhood, there is a flea market on weekends featuring food one day and boutique items the other, located just at Josh’s corner.
His wonderful apartment overlooks the East River and the bridges leading to Manhattan. What a spectacular view! We decided to have dinner at my friend Anita Ciolli’s historic restaurant in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Bamonte’s. It has flourished for generations and the traditional Italian food is consistently superb.
It was the close of a spectacular week and a look forward to exciting days ahead!