So now that the final Korea post is out of the way, I’d like to catch you guys up on what I did today. Since this Saturday is actually the last Saturday that I’m going to be spending in New Jersey before I go off to college, my dear friend Euna suggested that we go out for one last NYC fooding trip. She was telling me I just had to try this gelato – how could I resist? Euna knows exactly what kind of food I like, and if she has a dish to recommend especially for me, I know it’s gonna be good. So for new flavors’ and old times’ sake, I made time today to meet up with Euna in downtown New York.
The first place we went to was Vive la Crepe!, which obviously, is a creperie. But instead of serving the more common, paper-thin French crepes, this place makes thicker, Spanish crepes.
Like most crepries, Vive la Crepe!’s menus includes both savory and sweet crepes. So while Euna was nomming away on her tomato and mozzarella crepe, I was able to watch a nutella-banana-strawberry crepe take shape.
I didn’t try a crepe, but they sure smelled good. Euna didn’t seem too happy with her tomato-mozzarella crepe, although she assured me that the sweeter offerings on the menu were much better.
With that savory snack inside Euna’s tummy, we went on a search for something sweet. We went literally right around the block to the famous Rice to Riches.
Rice to Riches is probably one of the more famous sweet eateries in the city. I guess you could say their thing is making rice pudding “that actually tastes good.” It must be true because this place was pretty packed when Euna and I walked in. I’ve had RTR pudding before, and I gotta say it’s pretty darn delicious – cold and creamy and sweet in a flavors too numerous to keep track of.
I had a spoonful of this rice pudding and I think Euna’s smart for adding a crunchy topping. All delicious rice-puddingy goodness aside, the moooosh texture of the puddy can get overwhelming after a while, so it’s a good idea to have something to give it that little crispy contrast.
Pudding having been consumed, it was almost time for our dinner reservation at Otto. EXCITEMENT. Anyhoo, we tried to catch a cab to take us there, but in the end, we failed because they all already had people in them. So we just ended up walking to Otto and somehow ended up there on time-ish. BECAUSE WE PERSEVERE LIKE THAT. BOOYAH.
From the outside Otto Enoteca & Pizzeria doesn’t look like much.
You wouldn’t think that this place was one of Mario Batali’s restaurants. You know, the Italian Iron Chef known for his flaming-red, pony-tailed hair and orange Crocs-donning feet. Yup, that’s the guy.
Even though we came pretty darn early for dinner (our reservation was at 5:15), this place was already bustling. After a couple of minutes of waiting, we were presented with a slightly disappointing bread service.
So instead of filling up on the carbs, I patiently awaited my Quattro Stagioni pizza. Yes, very patiently…
And then it arrived.
Now I know that this doesn’t look very appetizing. In fact, it looks a bunch of ingredients just went KAPLOOOIE on my pizza crust. But this was actually really good. The crust was paper thin (just the way I like it) although I thought it could have been a little sturdier – the middle part got pretty soggy after I was onto my 2nd slice, and it start sagging. But other than that, the flavors were excellent. The cheese was ooey and gooey, and the tomato sauce was incredible. It was so sweet, almost like a jam (maybe it’s because tomatoes are in season right now?) and my favorites bites were the ones with the peppery Swiss Chard in them.
Because it had an extremely thin crust, this pizza wasn’t as filling as I thought it would be. And it’s a good thing it wasn’t because I definitely needed to leave room for dessert.
Let’s zoom in, shall we?
WOW was this an amazing dessert. I have never had a food that played with my palate so much. This tasted like so many things at the same time, but in a good way – each flavor was distinct and not muddled at all, and instead complimented each other perfectly. The lime curd and the passionfruit granita both brought sour flavors to the party, although the former made it citrusy-tart while the granita made it almost electrifyingly so. Not only that, but the sea salt on top enhanced that sourness just enough so that it was balance the gelato’s and strawberries’ . The olive oil was cold, creamy, and sweet (read, gelato-y) but there was a lovely green, almost vegetal aftertaste to it. Of course, the strawberries made it sweet, and the basil syrup definitely gave it a herby, citrus flvaor. It was just impossible to get sick of this dessert – each bite provides a shocking new taste; this cooppetta is definitely a dish that slaps your tongue around. I could still taste it while walking to the subway station :d.
Our gelato concluded the end our mini fooding tour; it’s hard to believe that I’ll have to wait until THANKSGIVING to go eat with Euna again. What a way to mark years of fooding and friendship, huh?