Batali, Bastianich & Baudelaire

DSCN6124-1The New Orange Briefcase

We are back in New York City for our annual art and tasting tour. My friend’s sturdy briefcase is a warm and sophisticated shade of orange which makes it easier than ever to follow him through the city that never sleeps.

Matisse-Nude-with-a-White-Scarf-1909-large-1138306046“In a warm glow of light,” Baudelaire’s refrain, we’re inspecting Matisse’s Nude with a White Scarf at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She looks relaxed and happy on warm pillows of red and pink. Museum goers are dressed in gray and black, moving furtively through the exhibition. Teenage visitors strut and prance like nobody’s looking.

Le Luxe II, 1907-08Luxe, Calme et Volupte

I stand behind an elderly gent in a Tommy Bahama sweatshirt whose wife’s thinning braid is coiled in a large plastic claw. Her expression is pure bliss. He leans on his cane, benignly disengaged, looking only at his wife. Her happiness is clearly the show he has come to see.

fallshows_330x250_giantMarital equipoise continues through our evening’s entertainment with Giant, a new musical based on the Edna Ferber classic. Texas-sized themes of love, marriage, and middle age engage us for three hours until the well-deserved ovation. The newly renovated Public Theater space gets two thumbs up, too.

photoOur “Del Gusto” Eatinerary

We return to Eataly, the crowded 5th Avenue Italian emporium/eatery, brainchild of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. We begin with sea urchin crostini and crisp Bastianich rosé. The earth moves. The unctuous urchin on a bed of buttery leeks is absolutely the most beautiful thing we have ever tasted. In thrall to the lowly urchin, we return to Pesce again and again like greedy homing pigeons.

MANZO IIIn an attempt to diversify slightly, we detour briefly to Eataly’s Manzo for silky squash agnolotti with sage and brown butter, and a rich and robust seared foie gras. Mm.

DSCN6118We make post-theater detour for a late dinner at Babbo, Batali’s flagship restaurant. I follow the briefcase to Waverly Place, and from polpo to grappa, Babbo is inspiring, grand, delizioso. The waitstaff at Babbo is quirky and charming. How hard they are working and how smooth they appear – well done.

ROSÉBut, honestly, nothing compares to our very first taste of sea urchin – nothing.

Baudelaire insisted that urban adventures would inspire “sudden leaps of consciousness.” My leaps include a new appreciation for the spiny sea urchin, a symbol of rebirth – a great way to start a new year.  •

At the MetDSCN6156

About Epicurious Travelers

Ms. Margolis-Pineo created to showcase her published work and ongoing food-travel adventures. Based in Portland, Maine, she travels frequently both in her home state and north to Montreal, her favorite North American city. Although she refuses to use the word "foodie," she has an abiding interest in food and wine. Ms. Margolis-Pineo's background as a designer gives her site an edge in the oversaturated blogosphere. New contacts, "likes," subscribers and content are always welcome!
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3 Responses to Batali, Bastianich & Baudelaire

  1. jonathanochart says:

    Ooh, lovely briefcase. Even though tangerine tango was the “it” color two years ago, it’s a timeless hue and works perfectly for your friend’s bag! Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you enjoyed New York!

    – Jonathan I

  2. Charlotte Hamlin says:

    OMG! Were we there at the same time? xoxoxox

  3. Estelle T. Margolis says:

    You always make me want to run to these restaurants and eat everything you talk about!
    I really loved the comment about the Matisse exhibit with the wife “kvelling” and the husband :kvelling because she was so happy!

    Marvelous, Libby, these are delightful reports about how interesting you make your life!!!

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