Sunday, September 21, 2014

Salumeria Rosi

During my stay in New York, I probably had my best meals at Salumeria Rosi. And as is often the case with the best things in life, we found it rather unexpectedly. I was walking around the Upper West Side with one of my friends when we chanced upon it and started reading the menu posted outside the restaurant. My friend had a feeling it would be a place worth visiting so we came back a little while later and sat down to a delectable meal - one of three during my short stay in New York.

I love how Salumeria Rosi works, basically, you order several dishes -- they recommend between three and five for a party of two -- and they're served as soon as they're ready in a tapas-sized portion.

Even the bread was fresh and delicious.

We started with a bean and fresh herb crostini which I quite enjoyed.

Then came what was perhaps the best dish I had during my entire stay in the city: the most delicious gnocchi I ever had! It's actually a very simple dish, gnocchi, pecorino cheese, basil and a simple tomato sauce, but somehow everything was cooked to perfection and you could feel the individual flavors of each ingredient in the dish.

While my go-to dish at Salumeria was the gnocchi, my friend's was definitely the pasta amatriciana -- and I have to say it was equally delicious! Perfectly cooked al dente pasta, topped with a hearty meat sauce and pecorino cheese, this restaurant is definitely doing something right.

On my third visit, I finally decided to try something different, so I went with the lasagna, and I absolutely loved it. Another winner at Salumeria!

Could a restaurant call itself a salumeria if it didn't serve a fine selection of Italian meats? On our final visit, we ordered their selezione del salumiere and frankly even though I am not traditionally a fan of that kind of thing, I have to say, these meats were so fresh and flavorful, I enjoyed every morsel that came my way!

Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery and its cupcakes are famous the world over in part because in an episode of Sex and the City, Carrie and Miranda sit outside one of the bakery's locations while Carrie enjoys a pink vanilla cupcake and informs her bestie she has a crush on Aidan.

However, Magnolia certainly deserves its fame independently of any pop cultural references. Their cupcakes are amazing! While I was in New York, I actually read a few reviews suggesting that while Magnolia's cupcakes were quite good, you could get better elsewhere, I have to say that was not my experience. I tried a couple of the suggestions, and nothing came even close to Magnolia's vanilla or chocolate cupcake.

I should also mention, cupcakes are not all Magnolia is famous for, the bakery also makes a delicious banana pudding which I highly recommend you try at least once if you're on the other side of the pond.

A friend of mine kept telling me to try the banana pudding, and I'd keep telling her I didn't care for banana as a flavor, I was perfectly happy to eat the fruit on its own, but I didn't especially enjoy it in desserts, shakes or what have you. She insisted, I finally relented, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed!

First of all, the main flavor that comes through is vanilla, so while the banana provides texture and a delicate, fruity addition to the treat, it certainly isn't overpowering the way I initially feared it would be.

 The banana pudding comes in several sizes, it is simply delicious, and again, I strongly recommend you try it if you happen to be paying Magnolia a visit.

Just waiting in line at Magnolia, looking at the beautiful displays of cupcakes and regular-sized cakes is such a treat! I really miss walking into one of their shops and getting a delicious cupcake. Both the cake and the icing are as moist as they are fresh no matter what time you get them. If only we had anything even remotely close to that here in Geneva. Oh well!