A Love Letter to Restaurants

Let me start by saying I miss you terribly.  I really do, but I’m just not ready to come back yet.  

I especially miss afternoons crammed into Ippudo slurping up Tonkatsu Ramen, or intimate evenings at Noreetuh nibbling on Tuna Poke and sampling their list of Misubi and wines.  Is there any better people watching than peering over plates of Grilled Octopus and Fried Rabbit from a sidewalk table at Via Corota? Or over a quick breakfast meetup at Buvette? And I dare anyone to find a more perfect weekend brunch than sharing a dozen Island Creek Oysters, a fluffy Omelette aux Fines Herbes and a Frisée Lardon Salad at The Odeon.  

Closer to home, Da Claudio, you’re my little hidden gem.  We may not visit very often, but somehow your bartenders always greet us by name. I can’t wait to put my elbows up on that smooth marble bar again, and sip Negronis over a platter of thinly sliced Prosciutto de Parma, crumbly Fiore Sardo, buttery Castelvetrano olives, and fresh warm bread drizzled with honey and fruity olive oil.  When it comes to pasta you always know how to make the most of a few ingredients. And whether we’re in the mood for a spicy Bucatini Arrabbiata, a creamy Cacio e Pepe, or the sweet bite of Spinach Fettuccini smothered in fennel sausage and shishito peppers, I know J or T will recommend just the right wine.  Instead of coffee I can’t resist a slice of Tiramisu.  Only you can make it so light and airy I can almost trick myself into thinking I’m having a spiked mocha cappuccino instead of dessert.

On those nights I just need to get out of the house and let off some steam, I’m glad to have a friend like Cowgirl Seahorse.  I know you’re not perfect, but neither are we.  Who else can satisfy our cravings for Frozen Margaritas, Fried Fish Tacos and Baked Oysters while giving us Live Music Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, and Trivia Wednesdays?  Your big sister might be a West Village icon, but you’re well-loved in our neighborhood.  I miss being able to just grab a hoodie, chuck some sneakers on, and stumble on over.  So what if it’s just to sit at bar and crunch on Black Bean Nachos while watching TV, reading a book, or catching up on local art, music, or community events? Especially after being cooped up at home for eleven months that sounds like heaven to me.

Sadly, there’s still so much uncertainty, and so many restaurants we never got to meet before the pandemic took them from us forever.  I hear for Valentine’s day, that things are starting to open up again, but I’m still cautious.  With my asthma I just can’t take the risk until we’re sure it’s safe.  We’re also on a tighter budget now, so the best we can do is try to support you all with some occasional takeout or delivery.   In the meantime, please hang in there and keep yourself and your families safe. We look forward to seeing you very soon.

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