Friday, July 24, 2009
My birthday dinner last night was absolutely impeccable. The best thing in the world is when a restaurant opens in your neighborhood, doesn't have their liquor license yet (and is therefore BYOB) and serves amazing Italian fare, including brick oven pizzas. Um, oh yes. I was a happy gal.
The service was sweet and genuine, the server made great recommendations and the atmosphere is carmely soft and dreamily fuzzy. I could not find, online, a great picture of the bar, but they have done a bang-up job fixing up what used to be Queen's Hideaway. The kitchen is right out in the open, the chefs cooking behind a pretty low counter, a beautiful wood-fire oven blazing away behind them. It is all remarkably lovely. They have a great garden (weather did not so much permit last night, so we sat inside).
For an appetizer, we chose the bruschetta of the day -- three gorgeous toasts tiered with traditional chopped tomato bruschetta topping, then eggplant parmagiana slices, then melty mozzerella, then topped with a fabulous fresh pesto, all drizzled with olive oil and fresh basil tearings. There was nothing done wrong here.
I love the little perks at Anella too... they bring you, unfailingly, a small teaser plate before your appetizer arrives. This time it was a crostini topped with a hummus-like white bean puree. Completely inspired us to use the Cuinsinart to make white bean hummus this weekend. Terribly delish.
Main courses, we chose pizzas! Though they do have fish + meat + pasta selections that I am sure are lovely.
I had a meatball pizza with the softest, must succulent slices of meatball flayed down the center of the pie, combined with a concentrated garlicky tomato sauce and mozz. The crust is slightly salty (in a good way), thin and crispy-soft at the same time. Adored this pizza. H had yummy three chese topped with beautiful parsley.
The best part of all, maybe, however, was the roasted rooftop vegetables we ordered as a side! Yes, many of the veggies/herbs we ate came from the rooftop garden and they were just so damn good.
Happy birthday to moi. :)
Pics of Anella courtesy of NYMag.