Of course, we had to try this busy New York restaurant in the Village, bearing my name!
We walked through the busy bar/dining room, through the flower-filled outdoor patio and were seated in the "Carriage House", a charming former residence in the back of the property. It looks like a rustic Italian kitchen with fireplace, beamed ceiling, large dining table, and walls lined with white ceramic serving dishes. Every surface was filled with fresh flowers and candles.
Our waiter, Fabrizio, had come from Italy at age 16 to play on a soccer team, and when he found out Federico was an Italian exchange student, he spent even more time at our table, speaking in Italian.
The food was wonderful! Federico and I began with some FRESH burrata and prosciutto, while Brad sampled an assortment of cured olives and bread. Federico's entree was Pappardelle allo Spezzatino d'Agnello (pasta with slow roasted lamb, rosemary and kalamata olives). Brad ordered a pasta special with black pepper pasta, roasted tomatoes and shrimp, and I had grilled lamb chops with roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach.
For most of our dinner, we were alone in the Carriage House, sitting on one end of the large wooden table. When we had finished our entrees and were pondering dessert, a group of 5 people were seated at the other end of the table. They were friendly and soon learned Federico was an exchange student. Before long, we were "old friends". Photos were taken, and we learned were were sitting with Lori Stokes, New York's ABC television anchor on the morning and noon news! Leave it to Federico to meet the local celebrities!
We enjoyed ricotta cheesecake, lemon-mint panna cotta and chocolate gelato for dessert.
Later that evening, we met Constantine from American Idol Season 4, and even later, Federico met Miss Jamaica, who was filming a video on Times Square!