Holiday Feasting (Day Two)

December 25th, 2014 § 1 comment

Comfy Amtrak travel to New York and HG/BSK arrived at their Lower East Side hotel room for a rousing reunion with SJ, Exquisite Maiko plus the grand grandkids, Haru and Teru. A walk on East Broadway, a bowl of steaming pork and watercress soup at a Chinese eatery, brief nap, a hot shower and off to Vic’s, Restaurateur Daughter Victoria’s new venture in the same space that housed her Five Points restaurant on Great Jones Street in Noho for more than ten years. Vic’s has had much buzz because of ecstatic reviews (mentioned by HG in a previous post). When HG/BSK arrived at Vic’s they were dazzled by the new decor. Simple, Warm. Welcoming. Exposed brick. Flattering light. A ceiling that muffles much noise but allows enough to create a lively atmosphere. Tables and chairs that evoked an elegant farmhouse. And, there was Victoria, looking svelte and fashionable. She joined HG/BSK at a corner table and a perfect meal made stately progress. Chef Hillary Sterling combines imagination, precision, technique with an appreciation for down to earth tastes that evoke Italian countryside trattorias and eateries nestled on Mediterranean beaches. Her first creation HG/BSK enjoyed was a platter of crisp fried sweet onions dusted with parmesan and dried tomatoes. Pure, simple deliciousness that hit all the right notes of salty, sweet and crunchy. This was followed by little neck clams, pistachios, cannelloni beans and lovage in an intense clam broth. The sea theme continued with smoky, juicy grilled sardines adorned with thin shaved curls of baby carrot. The refreshing white wine was put aside and a fruity red was poured as three different pasta tastings were introduced. First, there was the Roman classic, cacio e pepe prepared with pecorino and parmesan. Then there were “little purses” of delicate pasta filled with ricotta, lemon and hazelnuts. The pasta finale: Tortellini filled with potato and guanciale (pork jowl) in a powerful pork brodo that sang of bacony goodness with remarkably none of the grease. There was just enough appetite left for a shared taste of some lush chocolate and snifters of house concocted limoncello (best HG/BSK ever tasted). Vic’s is a happy restaurant.The diners were visibly and audibly having a good time. And, why not? Splendid food, fair prices, pleasant surroundings, attentive service. HG advice: Reserve in advance. Vic’s is hot.

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