I heart NY?!

A was in NYC for business, I just tagged along for the fun.
We left Philadelphia on Monday afternoon and planned on having a nice dinner in NYC and crash early since A had to get up super early the next morning for his business-thingi.
After getting settled in the hotel, we decided to go for a stroll and eat where ever we both were comfortable. We walked down 9th and cut left on 39th, there seemed to be a great choice of restaurants, Italian, Indian, Chinese… what else could you wish for? A was nice enough to let me choose but honestly, indecisive me just wanted a bit of everything. So we looked at the menu at one restaurant and a lady packed in a down jacket started chatting us up. She pointed at the entrance behind her and as I recall, she said, “It’s a five star restaurant, it has a bit of everything. A bit Italian, a bit Mexican, a bit of what ever you could possibly wish for and the prices are decent, oh and the sangria is amazing.” Little did she know that A nor I were in the mood for drinking but since we felt really bad for her, having to stand in the cold and trying to attract people to come in, we decided to give it a go. Worst case scenario, we walk straight out and find a McD’s.
When we entered A and I were awe-struck. First thing that came into my mind, was “funny smell” and A read my mind and immediately said, “we don’t have to eat here” but part of me was curious and part of me felt bad for the woman outside. Which five-star restaurant let’s someone stand outside in the cold when it’s 20°F? Business must be good….! So yes, we decided to stay.
They assigned us a table and Isacco (the owner/entertainer/singer/waiter) handed us the wine menu. Now he was a character. 5 foot 8 maybe, his hair-line receding but what was left of his hair was combed back and resembled what was left of a glorious Elvis-hairstlye. He came back to our table and asked what kind of wine we wanted. A and I looked at each other and said, that we were fine without wine, we wouldn’t mind some water though. He obviously didn’t like that answer, “you don’t want no wine. No wine, you want?” (with a thick Italian accent, the next day we discovered that he was in fact Spanish, so I don’t know where the fake-Italian-accent came from).
After a few moments of silence between Isacco and us he barked his specials at us, which I had a hard time understanding, since “For appetiz-eeo we have fish. And with entree you can have fish too. So you have fish and fish. Or you can have meat. We have meeeat too.” (note: still fake-Italian) He got irritated that none of that sounded intresting to us and just handed us the menus before greeting the next customers in his loud Italian-ish manner.
So A and I decided for a buffalo-mozzarella with roasted peppers for an appertizer and Linguini with clams and Gnocchi with meat sauce. After Isacco was ready on waiting on the table next to us, he came back to our table and asked us in his most-unfriendliest-voice what we wanted to eat. He reluctantly took our order and then headed to the kitchen. A few minutes later one of the bus-boys came around with a bottle of water and some bread.
Now, to fully describe this exerpience, I have to paint you a picture of the ambience. As I mentioned earlier, it had a funky smell in there. The restaurant itself was really dark, the dimmed the light to a point where I was wondering, if they were just trying to cut the bills (which would have been nice, if it would have set a romantic note…). There were about 150 wine bottles on the top shelves and another 50 on a wine rack at the back of the restaurant to divide the dining room and the kitchen. All those bottles were some what organized and some of them had a really thick layer of dust on them, others must have been put up there just recently.
Fairy lights were hot-glued onto the wall through out the entire restaurant. I guess to give you at least some kind of Italian flair. There were tons of pictures of Elvis Isacco (this must have been a really hard transition from being an impersonator to impersonate a restaurant owner). A bunch of other paintings were on the wall, all of them giving you the feeling of “someone refusing to let go of his “Italian-nature””. Yes, it was quite a sight. And god, was it loud in there. I was part of at least 9 different conversations at 9 different tables and I wasn’t sitting at one of them. So A and I had a really hard time communicating, at one point we started just yelling at each other since there was no other way of being heard.
So Isacco did not only try to save energy, he also went green on our table cloth. What’s the use in washing those things? Why not put paper on the table, so you can change that as the customers leave? Yes, A and I felt romantic that night. It got so bizarre that at one point we started making jokes about, what not to do when you own a restaurant/want to get lucky with your spouse/have your first date. All of them included not going back to this restaurant, ever ever ever again.
Don’t get me wrong, our food was good, I wouldn’t call it a five-star-restaurant-food but it was decent. The bus-boys were nice enough and they asked how our dinner was and if we enjoyed our night and of course we lied (because that’s what you do to be polite..). Isacco didn’t pay any attention to us anymore, he did however come back to all the tables that did order wine, kind of made me regret not ordering any…
Isacco just came around to hand us the bill and barked at us, wishing us a wonderful night… And the second my foot was out the door I was happier than all night.
As we walked out the restaurant we bumped into our lady-friend again and she smiled at us, very happily. And yes, we lied to her too. Of course we enjoyed our stay, of course we’ll be recommending this restaurant and of course Isacco is a wonderful man, I think I did all of this justice…As A and I walked home, he grabbed my hand and said, “I wouldn’t have enjoyed tonight with anyone else but you”, because this is what matters. Yes, we had a terrible time out, thanks to mayor douche-lord in his dark dark den but because I was there with A it is worth telling the story. Because A and I had a night to remember in lovely NYC.

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