I am going to continue to talk about Italian food. What can I say? It is my heritage, my family, and is among my favorite things to eat of all time. What is not to like about a culture that cooks everything with cheese, garlic, and bread? Nothing! That’s what.
There are so MANY choices in types of food and restaurants that can make going out to eat in New York City seem like a daunting task. But us brave souls must solider on and conquer the best of the best. I personally cherish being amongst the bold and the beautiful, in food that is.
When it comes to finding an Italian restaurant in New York City, it is sort of like saying you are looking for an Irishman in a bar. It’s the total opposite of looking for a needle in a haystack. Don’t fret I am half Irish so I know they heart alcohol the way my other people, the Italians, heart their food. I have had a thirty-three year education.
What I have learned is that this is by far my favorite type of food. My love affair with pizza is no secret after all (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2014/12/for-pizza-done-robertas-way.html). But besides pizza it would be hard to rate in order how I love the rest of these foods. It depends on whether I am craving pasta or not. Or if it is a holiday then I know what food to expect and look forward to. In fact besides pizza there is only one other meal that pops into my mind as an Italian must have. It is a simple but incredibly rich dish that if done right always hits the spot. I am talking about fettuccini alfredo and there is only one place that you can find the real deal; Alfredos 100.
I first came in contact with this restaurant when it was in its former location in Rockefeller Center and when it was called Alfredos of Rome. Back then I was a young college student and I went out to eat with a family friend. She took us to this restaurant and it was one of the nicest I had seen at that time (obviously my pre-blogging life). The waiters were so nicely dressed and polite weaving in and out of the crowd serving up their specialties. When I looked at the menu my eyes were drawn to the fettuccini but I had no idea what I was in for.
Apparently my eighteen-year-old taste buds were accustomed to the kind of alfredo sauce that came in a jar and not made fresh in the kitchen. When I bit into it I was surprised and scared. It was bitter, sharp, and not at all what I pictured. To me at that time I could barely get it down. I am ashamed of that but that is the truth. Luckily the tide was about turn.
Fast forward to 2008 and my twenty-seventh birthday. Much to my initial dismay I was spending this occasion in New York City. I know how much that must sting to people who wish they were. I try to appreciate it that now.
So since I would be home and working I still wanted a good way to celebrate during the week before Christmas. I decided to go to the ballet and then have dinner with my family and friends at Alfredos of Rome. It turns out that was the smartest decisions I could have made.
This time I was reviewing the menu ahead of time and couldn’t be more excited. I knew what to expect and even I set the bar too low. We started with the calamari stuffed with lobster. To die for! Then I got the signature dish followed by white tiramisu. Tiramisu is a cake made with ladyfinger cookies, espresso, and cream. It is my favorite dessert besides lobster tails (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/10/for-ferraras-pastry.html). But this was the first restaurant where I saw it made with white chocolate, which I much prefer. All together it was the perfect meal for the perfect day. The fettuccini was rich and buttery and I realized that the sharpness I had detected earlier was a sign of a well-aged, cured cheese. Now that I appreciated it I couldn’t get enough. It also makes killer leftovers, one of the few meals that you can microwave and still retains its original composition.
This past September when my family was looking for a restaurant to celebrate my mother’s birthday we decided to return to an old classic. But it wasn’t exactly the same. In honor of its one hundredth anniversary it is now known as “Alfredo 100.” It also moved to midtown closer to Radio City than Rockefeller Center. I was disappointed by the change of scenery but I was still looking forward to sinking my teeth into that marvelous sauce and handmade pasta.
Minus a few menu changes things were exactly as I hoped they would be. The calamari and tiramisu were no longer being served but of course their main dish was first on the list. You could have it plain, with shrimp, chicken, vegetables, or lobster. I stuck with what I knew but I am sure any additives could only make things better.
If you are looking for a traditional old world meal that still tastes as good now as it did way back when, this is the spot for you. This is a good time to mention that the reason they are SO famous for my favorite dish is because they invented it! That’s right, Alfredo’s was originally in Rome where fettuccini alfredo was born.
I recommended this restaurant when I wrote a blog series in 2011 about all of my favorite places in New York City (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/04/for-keys-to-my-new-york-city-part-iii.html). I stand by recommendation and will keep up my tradition of checking back in for one of my most desired meals every few years.
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