New York: gourmet notes from the indian summer (3/3)

Talking about buns and of things one bites into, I will suggest a couple of classic establishments, starting with Russ&Daughters, a Polish-origin venue dedicated to preserved fish in all its forms, mainly smoked.


Lots of types of salmon and sturgeon are ready to fill a bagel with cream cheese, capers and onions that one can bite into without thinking. I tried two types of salmon, obviously wild: the one from New Zealand was fine and elegant with an almost imperceptible smoked flavour and very little fat, while the Scottish one was completely different, as it was greasy, smoked and very noticeable in the bagel. They were both very good in their own ways.



Next door there is Katz's Delicatessen, a giant room with a flurry of local customers and tourists, numerous tables happily ruled by sandwiches with pastrami, hot dogs, hamburgers and chips. Here you will find the New York and triumph of cholesterol you expect to find. You only need to look at the average size of the men behind the counter to understand what will happen at Katz's.



Why not mention Pizza?  For some years New York has been home to some great pizzerias. They had told me about Mortorino, run by Keste from Forcella, but on the evening that pizza sprung to my mind I was very tired, so I relied on Foursquare, a mobile application that helps you find the closest places that match your desires. It’s an exceptional travel tool in countries where there is a high usage ratio. Foursquare suggested a pizzeria in Greenpoint with lots of clients and excellent reviews, so I went.



When entering Paulie Gee’s  everything is reduced to the bare minimum, except for what is served. Wood furniture that blends with the wood that will be burnt in the oven, smiley customers, dark lighting, an oven created specifically by artisans from the Campania region in Italy with the writing “Napoli” overhead.

The pizzas? Out of this world. The one with black cabbage grown on the roof of the pizzeria and mushrooms is amazing: light and slightly chewy, as it should be, without the dough being too acid, with the right amount of burnt bits and crunchiness: to put it simply, just excellent. The owner Paulie, I am not sure if this is his real name, is remarkably friendly and kind. The margherita too was the art of perfection.



Do you want some wine? I always do! Among the bottles bought at Uva & Wines I remember with great pleasure a Morgon 2010 by G. Descombes, one of those chewy wines I like so much.



I then went to The Ten Bells, a cult place for producers and drinkers of natural wines. And here I was rewarded by the controlled oxidation and by the balanced flavour of a simple French white wine produced to the north of the city of Toulouse: La Coccinelle 2011 by Domaine Rols.



Another obligatory stop-off for drinking is Terroir.

Here too the selection of bottles is so refined and surprising, it makes you feel as happy and amused as if you were in an oenological funfair.

What can I say? If I were to return to New York I would retrace the same steps of this journey, with the certainty of coming across new thrills in these easy-going, well thought out, true and not pre-packaged venues.

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