I don’t know about you, but eating a good meal in a good New York City restaurant ranks pretty high on my happiness scale. Throw in a good friend and all is right with the world.
A few weeks ago, I headed up to Manhattan for a meeting and afterward met up with my friend Robin for lunch at Giorgione, an Italian restaurant in SoHo-ish. We had a 1:1 5 p.m. reservation; I arrived around 12:45 p.m. and the restaurant was devoid of diners. I was slightly concerned but 30 minutes later the place was packed.
While I waited for Robin, I sat sipping a glass of 2009 Argiano Non Confunditur Super Tuscan, basking in the light, airy space, and classical music playing at a perfect low volume. The Argiano was number 46 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 last year, and goes for a little less than $17 a bottle, which is about what I paid for one glass. It’s been a while since I’ve appreciated a Super Tuscan, and I’ve decided that I’m not going to let that happen again. What a fantastic, full-bodied red.
There are wines that are okay, or fine, or even good, but when you taste something such as the Argiano NC…well, I’m not going to speak for you, but I do find myself pondering all the elements that must be in harmony to make a wine spectacular: the weather, the ground, the health of the grapes as they grow, how the wine rests in the barrel…there’s a lot going on. We’re all thinking it so I’m going to say it: it’s magic.
Robin arrived and we were seated in a small corner of a large banquet against a wall stacked with shelves of wine bottles. Robin is an amazing portrait photographer I’ve mentioned in previous posts, and if you have not read her blog, you must. I would like her to photograph Alec Baldwin so I can randomly stop by to borrow a cup of sugar. Or milk. We’re always out of milk.
I started my meal with beef carpaccio, followed by the Capricciosa pizza (ham, mushrooms, fresh artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and mozzarella). Delicious. The carpaccio was sliced extremely thin (as it should be), with a small pile of celery and shaved parmigiano. The pizza also was thin, light on the cheese, heavy on the toppings. I am always on the hunt for a tremendous pizza, and I would come back to Giorgione. (Incidently, the best pizza I’ve eaten on my hunt is at Motorino.)
The acoustics at Giorgione are an issue, as the majority of the surfaces are hard (aluminum tables) and angular. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but not so great for conversation. My next time dining at Giorgione will either be early, or when the lunch crowd is petering out. I hear the acoustics at dinner are worse.
The service at Giorgione is excellent; everyone was especially helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable. I would make my way back there, and I think you should, too.