Friday, October 05, 2007

Arthur Avenue with the Buchmans

So a lot has happened since the last time I attempted a blogging comeback. The high holidays, which are a much bigger deal on the East Coast than on the West, happened. Neal, Ryan, Nicki, Laurie, Vasily and Dr. Rob came up for my birthday ... which was a fabulous time by the way, there is really nothing like a night at the Astoria beer garden ... Aviva's parents visited, then my dad and Peg visited, then Aviva's parents came back, then I submitted more data on my grant, then I went to San Diego for the 8th Annual ISNV conference ... and the most important thing, Aviva moved in with me.

Thats been a huge adjustment, but almost everything about it has been for the better ... there is too much to say

But more about all that later, and I mean a lot more because there is quite a bit to tell, but one small anecdote will have to tide you over for now. About a month ago, Aviva's parents came up from Philly-Jersey (you know, the part of Jersey around Philadelphia, as opposed to NY-Jersey, the part around New York, of Jersey-Jersey, the pit in the center around Trenton) to meet my Dad and step mom. We all got together at a southern Italian style resturant on the lower west side, at 38th and 9th, called Osteria Gelsi. Dinner was good, particularly the pasta and the wine, although I would avoid the ossobucco, because their take on ossobucco is made from a turkey leg as opposed to veal.

But the most notable occurrence of the evening happened while I as still parking the car. As my father walked in and Aviva introduced him to her father, her dad handed him a piece of paper on which was written the following

4 good milking cows
2 goats
24 speckled hens
1 set of 5 good copper pots
30 pieces of gold
1 mountain dulcimer (used)

and says, "This is the dowry." Classic. I dig her dad.

Personally, I think that Aviva is worth at least six goats and I would want some bulls for breeding stock as well.

Anyway, on Wednesday, Aviva's parents were back in town and since her dad grew up in the Bronx, he wanted to take all of us to Arthur Avenue. For those of you who don't know, Arthur Ave is in the Italian area of the Bronx ... actually it is the center of Italian area of the Bronx ... and it is often touted as the best Italian food in America. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I have been there several times and each time it has been excellent. And totally different. Emilas, there on a date about a year ago, was fairly standard. I went to Enzos, apparently a newer addition to Arthur Avenue (the older Enzos is on Williamsbridge road) with a colleague visiting from California, was surprisingly modern and classy, with a sparse yet completely satisfying menu and incredible seafood and pasta ... I had delicious stuffed clams, and fresh, spicy rigatoni with fresh mozzarella, eggplant and peppers. Marios with my Dad and Aviva, reminded me of a cheesy, diner-ish place, with a menu filled completely from top to bottom. Aviva had tremendous veal, and the shrimp linguine I had was also excellent. It tasted a bit homier than Enzos, but was still remarkable.

And Domenick's was something new altogether. The tables were covered with fake red-leather roll-outs and stacked together cafeteria style, so Aviva, myself and her parents sat next to a group of strangers. The place was older and a bit dingier and fantastically more pleasant than I had expected. The menu was the sound of the crusty old waiters voice, the wine list was the three bottles sitting up to the left of the bar and the food was ... spectacular. We started with the chianti over the bar along with stuffed, fried clams and a huge table salad with fresh tomatoes and olive oil and topped with thin wedges of fresh parmesan. The chianti flowed well and we followed up the appetizers with a family style meal composed of incredible eggplant parmesan, a delicious plate of veal and potatoes in white sauce and a simple pasta with broccoli rabe. At the end of the meal, the bill came in the same crusty voice, and after stopping by the bakery to pick up some Napoleans and Cannolis, we came home, ate our deserts and then Aviva's parents headed back to Manhattan on our new favorite bus, the BxM10.

Another great night in the Bronx.

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