It’s hard to say which I love more: Little Italy in the summertime–sitting outside, enjoying the bustling on the street and the busyness of the convergence of tourists OR Little Italy in the wintertime–enjoying a hearty pasta dish, watching the snow fall, and the quietness that takes over.
I guess the real answer is that I just love Little Italy. Sure, it’s a tourist trap. But, then again, I will never consider myself a New Yorker–so I feel it perfectly acceptable to visit whenever and how often I like.
Especially when I have friends in town. I think it’s THE thing to do if you come to NYC. Well, aside from ride the Staten Island Ferry. The food is amazing. Truly. It doesn’t matter where you stop. Be charmed by one of the old Italians begging to “come in, come in and eat!” and just try it out.
My favorite place to go is Da Gennaro for 2 reasons:
1. The olive oil and bread that they bring out to your table is by far the best that I’ve found. ANY WHERE. The olive oil is infused with spices and garlic and the bread is warm and crispy and everything that you imagine and want it to be.
2. The spaghetti carbonara is real. I know this seems like a bit of odd statement, but any of you who love carbonara and try to order it know that it’s a challenge. As my BFF recently commented: you can totally taste when they don’t add the egg. And she’s right. There’s nothing worse that ordering and anticipating carbonara and getting something that tastes like “alfredo-lite”. All together now: eeeeuuuuuwww!
But not this carbonara: this one is rich and decadent–with just enough onion, proscuitto, and basil to make it, well, simply perfect. I know it’s a big statement to make. But I’m making it. To me, it is simply the perfect carbonara.