Tag Archive for 'limoncello'

NYC Part I: Italian Drinks And Korean Yogurt

I’m past due for a report on my trip to NYC with Stephanie, so I’d best write it all out before I forget anymore of the it. We left Ithaca with our classmate Jayme around noon on March 14th and made it to Manhattan in a reasonable amount of time. I was put in charge of navigating our way from the Lincoln Tunnel to Little Italy where we were staying with Steph’s friend J. Navigating was easier than I’d expected, actually, though we certainly benefited from Jayme’s ability to drive in city traffic. We arrived some time around five, and, after dropping our things off and chatting a bit, Steph and I decided to have dinner in Little Italy.

My guidebook recommended Da Nico, and they were close and had fairly reasonable prices, so we went there. Being very obviously college students, they didn’t go to great lengths for us–we were sat near the front (not the nicer areas of the restaurant), and I’m sure that we lived up to their expectations by both ordered pizzas, even though I got some chianti with mine. My pizza–Quattro Stagione, if I remember correctly–was very good, though the crust was a bit thicker than most Italian-style pizzas; clearly, they were used to Americans who think pizza should only be eaten without silverware.

Once we were done, they brought us a plate of fried dough with powdered sugar–not my favorite, but Stephanie thought it was a slice of heaven. When the host stopped by to check on us, I asked if they had limoncello. “Of course,” he said. I ordered one for each of us. I’d been introduced to limoncello in Sorrento when my parents tried it; I’ve had some a few times but had never ordered it myself. But this was a special occasion.

Our order had a remarkable effect on the wait staff. Stephanie, who was facing the bar, reported that the host had the bartender pour the two liqueurs, then made him top the glasses off when he thought they weren’t full enough. We were served with a flourish. I enjoyed mine; Stephanie thought hers was so-so. After a bit longer–after all, the place runs on Italian time–we politely declined another round and requested the check. The check arrived along with two more limoncellos on the house–because “the servings are so small!” These two were finished with many grins and giggles–we’d pretty clearly made their night. I think we probably could have gotten another round for free, but we were both ready to go.

By this point it was evening and the weather had gone a bit drizzly on us. We had a few hours before J would be back at her apartment, so we wandered around for a bit, eventually making our way toward SoHo and a joint called Red Mango. Red Mango sells frozen yogurt–but not the kind at your TCBY; they use actual yogurt, live cultures and all, so the end result is a little sour and strangely addictive. I had mine with coconut on top and spent the rest of the weekend craving another cup of it.

After some more wandering, we got back to the apartment in the midst of a party thrown by one of J’s roommates. Not being in the mood for drinking games, I contented myself with plotting out the next day’s route and schedule, noting subway lines and stops in my little notebook and then heading to bed. I didn’t sleep very well, unfortunately–aside from the party noise, the traffic was loud enough to disturb me, and, being unused to the rumbling of the subway going beneath the building, I woke up frequently. Nonetheless, I was up early the next day, ready to strike out into the City and play my part as a tourist.