Monday (Day 5 if you’re counting) brought another day of touristing. We started with a trip to the top of the Empire State building and more walking before heading to the Financial District to meet our friend, MB, for lunch. Lunch, sadly, was not memorable or worthy of a mention… Truly a tragedy after Sunday night’s outstanding experience. Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t noteworthy. It just couldn’t be by comparison. I still had high hopes for dinner, though, when B and I would visit Osteria Morini.
MB was kind enough to give us a tour of the Financial District (including a walk past smelly Occupy Wall Street) and help us find where we needed to be for our afternoon tour of the newly opened 9/11 memorial. B and I were both really looking forward to visiting, but I don’t think either of us doubted that it would be an emotional experience. After waiting around awhile before our appointed time, we queued up and waited to be let in. The line is managed very well. Though it looked daunting, when all was said and done, we were through the line and security fairly quickly.
Our visit was very personal, as I imagine it is for most, so I won’t go into detail, but I will say they did an amazing job of creating something that is beautiful, respectful and impactful. I hope we have the opportunity to go back when it’s complete. If you have the chance to go there, I encourage you to. It’s certainly not the easiest visit, but it’s worth it.
For the remainder of our afternoon, we chose slightly more low-key activities, doing more walking and some shopping. We hadn’t bought much yet, and while we weren’t looking to pick up any cheesy souvenirs, we did find a few nice things to bring home. It seemed like the day had only just started when it was time for us to grab a cab and head to Petrosino Square.
When we walked into Osteria Morini, we both instantly loved the bar. It looked like exactly the type of place we would seek out in Seattle to sit and enjoy a cocktail and some appetizers. They weren’t too busy yet, but the restaurant already had a good level of buzz and energy. Though we were a few minutes early, they sat us right away for our reservation.
Our server was adorable. She was super friendly and approachable and seemed to be really enthusiastic about both the drinks and the food on the menu. Thanks to that enthusiasm, B selected a Camomilla (Evan Williams Single Barrel, Grappa di Chamomile, Honey Bourbon). I can’t remember what I ordered, but it was really good.
I’ve noticed an appetizer trend lately. Meatballs. I have nothing against meatballs. I actually rather enjoy them. Maybe it’s just that B’s ordered them a lot lately, but I think I may be approaching meatball burnout. For someone who’s kind of getting over meatballs, though, I thought these were fantastic. We had the Polpettine (prosciutto & mortadella
meatballs baked in tomato sauce).
In choosing dinner options, we went around in circles with the menu for ages. Looking at it online now, it doesn’t seem all that expansive, but everything looked great. In the end, B chose the Petroniana (crispy veal cutlet, prosciutto cotto, buttered spinach, parmigiano, truffle cream) and I had the Cappelletti (truffled ricotta ravioli, melted butter, prosciutto). B’s looked like an awful lot of meat on a plate… and not much else. He loved it, though. My Cappelletti could have made me sick (being pasta and all), but it didn’t. At all. It was also delicious. It looked like a massive portion when it arrived, and maybe I was just hungry, but it ended up being the perfect amount.
For dessert, we waffled between the Affogato and the Torta Di Gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut layer cake, stracciatella gelato). We have a few favorite places for Affogato in Seattle (including at home, recently), so we opted for something not on everyone’s menu and went with the Torta. Good choice, for sure.
We made a great choice for our only full dinner alone on the trip. Looking back at the pictures and at the menu, it seems the simplicity in Osteria Morini’s menu is it’s strength. They’ve managed not to complicate their food and they do this well. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to be good. While this was almost the quickest dinner we had on the trip, it was also one of the quietest… and that was welcomed quiet. The next day brought with it quite the opposite.