Dear Food Diary:
Finding a good place to eat around the Metropolitan Museum of Art has always been somewhat challenging. (Though I must say, the carts outside have become more gourmet).
Last Saturday, after the magnificent and breathtaking Alexander McQueen show, we wanted brunch, with the condition of a place that was walking distance (the 3 hr wait had drained us and we were hungry). Via Quadronno showed up on our iPhone searches. With the promise of brunch or at the very least, eggs of some sort.
I wasn’t expecting much, but as we walked in, the charming decor, smaller tables caught my attention. It suddenly felt like I was transported to a little town in Italy.
As I sipped the rich and creamy cappuccino, I took in the ambiance, the intensity of the expresso and the aroma. Felt relaxed, in the midst of great company.
The menu didn’t hit the spot at first glance. My tummy and tastebuds were waiting for brunch (eggs at least), but they were already serving lunch, highlighting their paninis (cold and warm) on several pages. But when in Rome, you know the saying… and so panini it was. Boy, was I deliciously surprised and delighted.
Not knowing anything about a place can be quite fun. Specially when it turns out to be one of those love at first bite moments. As it turns out, they had a panini consultant from Italy, that explains it!
Panini di Via Quadronno (special sandwiches)
In the Milanese tradition, served warm
Non Ti Scordar di Me (award-winning specialty: speck, brie, pate)
You can smell the fresh bread. Warm to the touch, yet soft inside with a delicate crunch. Perfectly toasted. As you bite into it, it makes that nice crunching sound. The salty speck, creamy brie and aromatic pate work beautifully. Just enough saltiness. I wished there was more pate, but honestly this was pretty darn perfect.
Lo Spazzino (young roast pork, rucola, provolone, red onions, caper sauce)
Was even better than the last. The moist pork (more like a good quality ham), perfectly highlighted by the peppery “rucola” or arugula. The onions brighten the mix, along with the salty cheese and creamy sauce.
The right proportion of bread to what was in between. Each ingredient seemed to be carefully placed for a tasty purpose. Now I know why they are known for their unforgettable paninis and cappuccinos. I could of eaten another panini, but wanted to save room for dessert. I’m glad we did.
Tiramisu di San dona (or DYI Tiramisu as I like to call it)
A unique version of “Tiremesu a la Rustega” Venetian-style
The menu said for 2 people, but 4 of us shared and it was a good portion.
The notion of doing your own tiramisu at the table was pretty sweet. Dunk the lady fingers in this extremely intense expresso. Dab on as much or as little of the creamy mascarpone and cocoa as you desire. Spoon licking good and fun.
I can’t wait to go back for another meal and tasty trip to Italy. I’ve been thinking about the perfect paninis and cappuccinos ever since. I’m guessing dinner items are just as satisfying. Prepared with the same care for what is authentic and traditional.
25 E 73rd St.