Took the Bolt bus up to NYC this morning to meet up with Simona, my sorellina italiana, and learned her good news just moments after seeing her in the W lobby: she’s pregnant! Due in November, just in time for a Christmas visit. 🙂 Che belle notizie!
Hungry after a morning of shopping, she wanted to eat lunch right away, so we chose a restaurant a block away from her hotel near Times Square: Scarlatto. With a somewhat uninspired ‘northern’ Italian menu, she asked that they make her a simple dish off the menu: pasta with tomato sauce. Moments before ordering, I had told the waiter she was pregnant, so he really couldn’t refuse the request. LOL. What arrived was just what she wanted (with too much garlic for my tastes). I ordered nothing worth writing about. Honest food served at honest prices.
Post-pasta, she was craving gelato and looking to buy her husband books about the moon, so we headed to the Upper West Side where Grom and Barnes and Noble are only a few blocks away from each other.
Originally from Torino, Grom sells the flavor of Italy for $5 a pop. From the English version of their website:
The idea is to apply a principle that is common to all the best restaurants in the world to the production of artisanal ice cream: buying raw materials of absolute top quality.
It was for this purpose that at the end of 2002 Guido Martinetti and Federico Grom set off on their quest, from the Langhe to Sicily, for the best that agricultural Italy but not only, could offer.
The principles are very strict: only fresh fruit and when it is in season from the best consortia in Italy, no colouring or additives that are not natural, Lurisia mountain water as a base for sorbets and high quality full-fat fresh milk for the creams; eggs from organic chickens and selections of the best cocoa and coffees from central America.
With shops now open all over northern Italy, Paris, New York and Tokyo, they’ve got a good thing going. By centralizing their production in Piemonte, they assure all stores uphold their high quality standards. They’ve even founded a farm (Mura Mura) to grow their own fruit. These guys are on a mission…and I love them for it. Thank you, Guido e Federico, for bringing Italy to the United States….and thank you, Simo, for making the trip and giving me good reason to escape my windowless office.