Every once in awhile I think, "What would it be like if I were rich?" Well for one thing I would have to change one letter in my nickname. come to think of it, if my nickname were Nick I wouldn't have to change anything. If I were a rich man, Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum. What would I do all day? Of course there would be the usual biddy biddy bum, but seriously how long could that take? The rest of the day I would be playing polo, even water polo if I could find a horse that could swim; a seahorse if you will.
I would have to learn to drink wine and fawn over French names and pronounce them with that French sound that you make through your nose as if you just dove upside down into a vat of lemon juice.
Worst of all, I would have to eat things that I really would rather leave under a rock, where they belong. When Amy, Jamie, my wife and I went to a restaurant that I would consider fancy schmnancy, I realized what an awesome responsibility it is to be positioned so high on the food chain. Literally everything below you is open for your consumption, and if you don't go on about how great it was, you will end up looking like a schmuck.
I won't mention the name of the resaurant (I Trulli in Manhattan) because I don't want to embarrass them. You can look up the menu online if you don't believe me. This is the first time I have dished so literally.
You might start with a salad: Insalata Mista is a good choice. It contains baby mesclun, which I tried once in high school and didn't return to Earth for about 5 hours. Or try the Carciofini- shaved baby artichokes, which is hot! I don't remember them to be particularly hairy, but better safe than sorry. Pulpo couldn't be more aptly named. It's grilled octopus with endive. Where in the world they found an octopus with an endive I will never know. It could have been even worse had he been found with EIGHT endives, whatever an endive is. Salsiccia is a housemade grilled lamb sausage with beans, sun-dried tomatoes, mint. I wouldn't have bought it if it was in anything less than mint condition and you shouldn't either.
Apparently, this chef is all about eating anything that's really cute and adorable. Is that your new kitten?? Poof! Flambe! Are you going to eat that Teddy bear? Slice! Dice! I am! Look! Ming and Ying just had a new baby Panda! Who the hell is that guy in a chef's hat scooping it up and running towards that wok?? It's frigging Hannibal Lechter, that's who!
After the appetizer, how about some pasta? "Dora's handmade pasta" I believe to be actually made from peoples' hands. Try the ravioli- it's a sheep’s milk ricotta-filled pasta. How a lamb got old enough to become a sheep around here is a mystery. Malloreddus is sardinian saffron dumplings with sausage. I didn't try that since is sounds a lot like "malodorous." Maccheroncini Grano Arso boasts duck sausage. If the duck were still around he would boast about it himself. This chef can make a sausage out of anything that sits still for more than a minute or two. I saw a giraffe taking a nap at the zoo, and BOOM! This chef whizzes out of a eucalyptus tree and sausagizes him! I had the Orecchiette. It is an ear-shaped pasta in a rabbit ragu. Ear-shaped pasta? The whole meal I had to watch my language just in case my pasta could hear me. Ask me what it smelled like. Go ahead. You want to. YES! It smelled like nose-shaped pasta! The rabbit ragu was a little more troublesome. I thought they would grind up the little cottontail into a sauce of little teency bunny pieces, but I was wrong: it was big rascally rabbit chunks that you could almost reassemble like a jigsaw puzzle. I think I ate its foot, and was a little disappointed that my luck wasn't any better than usual.
Are you in the mood for seafood? Spigola is a wild striped bass with spring vegetables and herbs in umido. I don't know what umido is but you can stick it innuendo as far as I'm concerned. I asked the waiter how wild are the stripes on the bass, but he didn't know and when I asked how fresh are the spring vegetables considering it's July, he gave me a look like he was double-parked back in the kitchen and ran away so fast all of our napkins flew off the table.
Polletto Al Mattone is a whole baby chicken cooked "under brick." The cook uses the word "baby" no less than ten times on the menu. This guy will raid your Easter basket and saute anything that looks the least bit friendly. Would it surprise you if he popped your actual baby right into his mouth? Stopping of course to add some fresh dill, let's not get ridiculous.
For dessert: tiramisu mascarpone, cheese mousse layered with espresso-soaked ladyfingers. Don't ask, and keep your hands in your pockets.
Incidentally, the oldest restaurant in Manhattan is considered to be Fraunces Tavern. Here, George Washington gave his farewell address to his officers in 1783 following the Revolutionary War. Even though they had the address do you think they wrote him once? While the United States Capitol was located in New York until 1790, the building served as the headquarters for the Departments of War, Treasury and Foreigh Affairs, which believe me, there were plenty. In 1775 the British warship Asia launched a cannonball through the roof. Whereupon the chef shaved it, added some baby fawns and ate it.