The Perfect Italian Lunch

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creamy burrata with tomatoes, basil and arugula

The weather in New York City has been spectacular lately.  So when my friend Gihan, in from LA, called me about eating, I knew only two things: we needed to be outside and the food needed to be good, because Gihan loves good food and I don’t like to disappoint.  I decided on Morandi, which has plenty of tables outside and is buffered from the noise of seventh avenue by a quaint little park.  It’s also consistently good, not one of the top Italian trattorias in the city, but I always know what I’m going to get and the food is sometimes great enough to surprise me. 

 

panzanella, or tuscan bread salad

panzanella, or tuscan bread salad

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pasta with basil pesto, julienned potatoes and green beans

 

Affogato, the simplest dessert on earth: vanilla gelato, espresso, biscotti

Affogato, the simplest dessert on earth: vanilla gelato, espresso, biscotti

Well, we didn’t quite get to outside, as every other New Yorker had the same idea as me, so we sat just inside the big open doors at a breezy corner table. Lunch was perfect. They had burrata on the menu as a special, and if you’ve never had burrata, well, you need to read my rhapsody on burrata (and I’ll tell you where to get it).  It was so soft and creamy, served over deep red heirloom tomatoes that had been tossed in a simple vinaigrette and torn basil.  We shared a crisp, bright panzanella salad, my favorite fava, mint and pecorino salad, pesto pasta, and for dessert, affogato (another favorite of mine).  I drank a crisp Orvieto and Gihan had Sangiovese.

Morandi: 211 Waverly Place in the West Village. Visit the website here.

I’ve also written about Morandi for brunch and for dinner.

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