Thoughts From the Coffee Table: Dinner in Europe is a long and luxurious thing. There is something magical about knowing that you are the only guest at a table for the night. They value your lingering enjoyment over table turnover, and truly hate to see you leave.
I found Italy at a lovely place called Amarone in NYC last week. I walked a half mile from my hotel in seriously cold weather. It was worth every frozen step.
I was warmly welcomed and had my choice of where to sit as I got there at the “blue hair special” kind of dining hour. I sat a tall table near the window, so I could watch the cold world go by.
Inside was warm and inviting, almost as if a fire had been burning. Cristian took care of me and made me never want to leave.
The food was lovely, but it was the series of little things that made the night. A perfectly paired wine to my meal. A dish of olives and cheese between courses. As I said no to desert, I was offered grappa. My smile became a glass from this amazing bottle. Along with a small plate of freshly baked biscotti. Just because.
Walking back into the cold, it felt like Rome. The hustle of the city feels the same. But it was the people inside Amarone that made me say Gratzie! on my way out, sorry to see me go.