Union Square Cafe is a place I sometimes forget about- it’s ubiquitous among foodies and has been for a gazillion years. We all know the food is really great, the service wonderful, the decor sweetly outdated. We all know it’s the first place to book up during restaurant week. I’ve been there 3 or 4 times and have always been pleased, if not surprised, by the excellence of my meal.
Then there are experiences like the one I had at lunch last week. It was a snap pea salad. Snap peas blanched and sliced diagonally (not sure why but the waitress made a point of telling me that), tossed with firm green peas, mint, pecorino, and smoky bits of pancetta. Each bite brought this: a sweet crunch of snap pea, a burst of fresh mint tempered by sharp pecorino, peas so firm you would feel it under a mattress, and just a hint of crisp pancetta. I mean, this salad was one of the most perfect stories of summer I could ever imagine.