Monday, October 6, 2008

Park Slope

The day after the filmrace (here's what we managed in the 24 hours alotted! Sorry about YouTube's bad picture quality), I needed to relax, so I went out to Park Slope in Brooklyn to visit a friend of mine that lives out there. I had no idea it's such a nice area; it's city-ish, but quieter, prettier, calmer, happier than Manhattan. It was a beautiful autumn day and I almost felt like I wasn't smack dab in the middle of one of the world's busiest metropolitans, but rather in a place where people take their time, have space to walk on the sidewalk without being afraid that someone's going to run you over, and actually enjoy life.

We started out by getting lentil soup and a falafel from a mediterranean place called Olive Vine Cafe (441 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215 at 15th St. 718-499-0555) that my friend has been going to for years. The lentil soup was awesome. My feeling is that most lentil soups are kind of heavy, but this one was light and tasty, a really good filler meal. And the falafel was yummy too, in fresh pita. Tasty.

We hung around for a while and were going to cook something for dinner, but we were feeling lazy, so we made a compromise between cooking and going out. We went to this amazing shop called "Russo's Mozzarella and Pasta" (363 7th Ave between 10th St & 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215, (718) 369-2874). It's been around since 1908, I want to say (nineteen oh something at least), and has all of these amazing specialty foods, mainly olives and things in jars, but the exciting part is that they have big buckets of fresh pasta and you can put the fresh pasta in a bag or a container and take it home. They also have a ton of frozen pastas shipped from Italy. I think that's a pretty crazy thought and probably kind of bad for the environment that pasta has to be shipped all the way from halfway across the world to Brooklyn to be authentic. BUT they had pumpkin gnocchi frozen from Italy, and it sounded too amazing to be true, so that's what we got. Also, they have all of these specialty sauces in the fridge next to the pasta, and we got walnut pesto. Let me repeat that WALNUT PESTO. Thank you.

On the way back from Russo's, we stopped in at my friend's standard wine shop, Slope Cellars (436 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215, (718) 369-7307), another local store in the neighborhood. I love this place now too, cause I don't know anything about wine, and when we went in, we were like we have pumpkin gnocchi and WALNUT PESTO, and the lady was like, "hm, interesting, we should ask Mary." (Her name wasn't actually Mary, but my memory is failing me and for the sake of this story, she very well could have been Mary). Mary was obviously awesome because the lady was in awe, hanging on Mary's every word. Mary was like, "yeah, you're gonna want this wine, it'll complement the sweet of the pumpkin and the nuttiness of the pesto perfectly" and the lady was like, "Really!? WOW, that's interesting, I would've never thought of that." I forget how seriously some people take wine, and that you have to go to school and develop a palate just to know these things. And I'm glad they do because the wine ended up being great with the food and I probably would've just gone for the one with the prettiest label. (The wine we got was Barbera d'Alba, Vendemmia 2006, by the way, an Italian red wine. Also, even though I enjoyed it, I'm sure this wine was lost on me because I just googled it and, among all the berries and wonderfulness it tastes like, it apparently also tastes like "Forest Floor" and "really dark inky chocolate" according to those who know (or seem to know) what they're talking about. Inky chocolate? Right.)

The dinner tasted just about as wonderful as expected, great with a greens and apple sald. There were two little humps when it came the gnocchi, though, and that's that I was walking around saying "nochi", like ryming with "yoshi" and thought that was a great way to say the word, even remembering that the g is silent. But it turns out it's pronounced "nocki", which isn't as fun.

The other was that I had no idea when to know if the gnocchi was done, and that's because it's soft no matter what. Google helped with the answer: when they start floating, leave them in for another minute and they're done!

Yum, Yum. Brooklyn has so much to offer!

No comments: