[Pink Pig Time Machine by Wilfrid: April 18, 2016]
I'm not sure why I would cook roast beef in a sangria sauce, but apparently I did so for guests ten years ago. Maybe a random magazine recipe? Maybe a sangria surplus?
I also ate out at some interesting places, not least the legendary--and sadly now closed--Flash Inn up in East Harlem.
I wonder what the occasion was?
Out and about, I took a second dip into the big David Smith show at the Guggenheim, and went to vintage book dealer James Cummins for an exhibition of Carl Van Vechten's portrait photography. I did a poetry reading in Greenwich Village, followed by curries at Mainland India: crab tawa and kandahari prawns. The next night, I tried E.U., the first of a parade of restaurants which have opened and closed at 235 East 4th Street over the last decade: truffled duck egg and duck prosciutto on toast; beef cheek sauerbraten.
But the dining highlight of the week was certainly the trip to Tony Merenda's Flash Inn. This red-canopied trattoria opened in 1937, hidden in what was now a deserted corner of East Harlem under the Macomber Bridge. Hard to find, hard to get to; driving, you apparently needed to hit the Bronx first, then turn back, its clientele by 2006 consisted on diehard regulars--notably old school Yankees fans (it was right across the river from the stadium).
So this was really a pilgrimage to drink martinis at the bar, admire the pink-jacketed waitstaff, and eat a spread of antipasti, followed by lobster ravioli and veal piccata. Almost as historic and atmospheric as Rao's, but you could always get in. No longer. Here's Charlie LeDuff conjuring the place in 2001.