Today was an 8am to 8pm day at work. I was fueled all day by the fact that I was meeting PatFrankSean for dinner. I am not ready to explain it, but there is something just perfectly perfect about working hard and then meeting friends for dinner in town afterwards. And not just one friend, which is nice, but 3 friends. Not a whole table for a birthday thing or a going away do, but 3 friends. It is just a thing.
This is Week Two of "Restaurant Week" in New York City. RW is when many of the top restaurants offer a set menu for $35 a person to entice business in the traditionally slow periods. There are "Restaurant Weeks" in many cities and it is a GREAT reason to meet friends and try a new place. Click here and check it out in your area.
We went to I Trulli on East 27th. I was drawn to the location because it was equally out of the way for everyone! I mean that only because I am excited when I am not on my usual #1 subway line. It feels like a fun overnight trip on the Orient Express to me. I took the R to 28th and walked East. Frank and Sean arrived and Pat met us at the table. I Trulli is a really nice Italian country-style (Pugliese) restaurant. Lots of velvet blazers and Euro-types mixed with corporate dudes, restauranteurs in suits and ties and ladies who dine. And open fires everywhere! A perfect winter atmosphere. I was looking forward to the food.
One cannot orchestrate a conversation (he-he), but we had a nice mix of gossip, current events, what I like to call Talmud Talk™ (where a group discusses an idea/concept to its carcass) and politics where two people are wrong and the third thinks almost like I think. I always have a laugh with these guys and breaking bread is just about purely great as it gets.
Presentation better than food.
Now I would like to report that I Trulli was great, but it wasn't. I think Restaurant Week is an excellent opportunity for restaurants to "audition" for word of mouth. The service was okay, but the set menu on-line (much preferable) was not what was on offer. I even checked it afterwards and they have not updated it. The food was okay. Pat and Sean's pork chops were dry. My short rib was good, but not magic in any way. And Frank's pasta dish was fine. The starters were uninspired and the desert was sloppily presented and something out of Price Club di Parma. All in all a tad cafeteria-style. I just have to say this because, though it was a wonderful time, enjoyment of food is part of the experience of an evening and that was not there. I can't say I would recommend this restaurant to anyone and that is a shame because it is lovely place and their set menu may be excellent. I think a restaurant should really go all out for its deal menu to entice diners to want to return AND tell others. And I am a "connecter!"
Into the night.
We live in Queens, New Jersey, Greenwich Village and the Upper Westside. So NorthSouthEastWest. Almost too cliché if one were to develop a TV series based on 4 similar characters in New York City. Into the night we walked together parting at 3 different subways/trains with Sean politely delivered to his door on foot. A good way to start the finish to a week.