Tag Archives: prosciutto

Italia Week: Rome!

Map of Italy - Rome
Rome. Rome is my absolute favorite. I love how small it is. I love how all the incredible ancient Roman architecture is all just THERE, all seamlessly integrated into the city. Sure, it’s touristy, but New York is just as touristy, if not worse (if you disagree, try walking through Times Square in the afternoon on ANY day). I’m super bummed that we only gave ourselves a full day in Rome this trip. We had already been to Rome before so wanted to give the new cities more time…

RomeWe rented a moped for the full day and biked all around the city. Yup, that’s the Colosseum in front of us.

Zi Umberto
Alas, there was only one dinner in Rome. We stayed at this beautiful boutique hotel that was owned by a warm and welcoming couple. They sat us down over cappuccinos when we checked in to make sure we knew where to go, how to get there, what to eat, etc. They were so awesome, I decided to forego the restaurant we went to our first time in Rome (that we LOVED and that I am still nostalgic for) to go to one that they suggested instead.  Zi Umberto (Piazza San Giovanni della Malva, 14) is their favorite restaurant to go to in Rome. They go all the time with family and friends.

Zi Umberto
Thoroughly addicted to prosciutto and mozzarella at this point, we decided to get it again. This prosciutto was more to my liking: softer, less salty, and more porky in flavor. The mozzarella was so fresh that it was still oozing that milky brine stuff (I know my shiz because I know how to make mozzarella!).  So creamy, juicy, and tasty. Continue reading Italia Week: Rome!

Italia Week: Venice!

Map of Italy - VeniceIt’s Italia Week! I recently ate my way through Italy across five cities (6 including a small pit stop in Naples) and want to share with you all the delicious things I had. I’ll be posting about my foodventures all week, featuring one city each day. LAW and I were most interested in eating where the locals were gathering, rather than checking out the most posh spots in town. We did our research, so if you’re traveling to Italy, I hope you can use this as a guide to great homestyle Italian food! If not, then hopefully this gets you craving some awesome, fresh ingredients and simple cooking.

LAW and I flew into Milan and immediately took a train to Venice.  Don’t worry, we return to Milan on the last leg of our trip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo Euro trip begins until someone picks up a sandwich from the train station! This was the first thing I had in Italy. It’s from a small booth in the Milan train station. Lightly seasoned ham, arugula, swiss, and mustard sandwiched between fresh focaccia. I didn’t expect a train sandwich to be this good. I found myself comparing all the other sandwiches on this trip to this one.

We also had a croissant sandwich. Buttery croissant, savory prosciutto, bitter and crisp arugula, and sweet tomatoes… you really can’t go wrong with these ingredients. That’s the thing with Italian food. Everything is so simply made, therefore quality of ingredients really matters.

Notice how soft and not stringy the prosciutto is (unlike a lot of what I have here in NYC).

We arrived in Venice on this beautiful sunny day. This was taken on a water taxi to San Marco, where our hotel was. I know, San Marco is the most touristy area to stay in. But we only gave ourselves two days to explore Venice, so staying somewhere central was important for ease of access. It ended up being perfectly charming. I fell asleep to men singing old school Italian love songs on the gondolas that floated by our hotel window every night. Legit. Continue reading Italia Week: Venice!

Basta Pasta! A place for Japanese-influenced Italian food.

Basta Pasta
37 W 17th St
(between 5th Ave & 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10011

I’ve been raving about this place for quite some time now and have already gone a bunch of times. For some reason, my photos are never satisfactory when I come. I think this is because we usually decide to go on a whim and I only ever have my iPhone with me. This time, we went with our out-of-town Turkey guests and as proper host, I finally had my camera with me. As background, Basta Pasta is a pasta place (derrrhhh) run by a Japanese owner. The dishes are subtly influenced by Japanese cuisine with a few exceptions that clearly show a cultural marriage, such as the Linguini Ai Ricci Di Mare, which is a linguini tossed with fresh sea urchin and basil in a pink sauce.

The meal always begins with a basket of assorted breads and little toasted slices of bread with a thin layer of gorgonzola spread. Bread is not warm but is pretty satisfactory, with a classic white, a golden raisin, and some other crisper/toasted white. Toasted bread and gorgonzola provides just barely enough flavor to whet the appetite. It’s surprisingly good.

We started with two orders of the Insalata D’ Anatra ($12), a salad of watercress and arugula with cherrywood-smoked sliced duck breast. This is one of my favorite simple salads because a) they give you a TON of duck for a salad; b) the vinaigrette is not too sharply acidic; and c) the arugula and watercress provides the perfect balance of tenderness and crispness. The vinaigrette is a little sweet and coats the smoked duck breast, forming what some would probably call umami. The duck is smoked such that the meat is still incredibly tender. The consistent thin layer of fat adds a bit of creaminess to the whole affair.  Continue reading Basta Pasta! A place for Japanese-influenced Italian food.