From time to time, I plan on writing about food because anyone who loves music the way we do also loves to eat. And since my travels take me here and there, I figure why not occasionally share with you dishes you might enjoy—just in case you need a recommendation.
Music will most certainly be part of the mix. When I write about food, I'll embed a track up top. Just start the music before you continue reading. It's like putting a napkin in your lap. Go ahead and start today's clip...
Last weekend, I grabbed lunch at one of my favorite informal Italian bistros in New York—Otto (One Fifth Ave., New York, 212-995-9559). This is one of Mario Batali's places, but there's no heavy scene here. People merely come in and read the papers (including a pink Italian one) while they quietly eat salads, pizzas and pasta. I've been eating here since 2003 and usually sit at the marble bar [pictured below] because there's more elbow room and tranquility.
What's fabulous about Otto in the summer is the seasonal heirloom Caprese salad [pictured above]—which consists of about six different types of ripe heirloom tomatoes (red, green, yellow and purple), fresh buffalo mozzarella and a vinaigrette that's salted just enough to keep you excited. The peasant bread (hard crust, pillowy interior) comes in handy when the tomatoes and cheese are gone.
Next came the thin-crust Romana pizza [pictured above]—which blends juicy tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, marinated anchovies, capers and hot chillies. The combination of extreme flavors is pretty exciting—fruity and fishy with a snappy nip.
Last was a blueberry cobbler with fragrant corn ice cream [pictured above]. The cobbler had just come out of the oven, so it was still murmuring when it arrived. The blueberries were fresh and tart—no sticky pie filling here—and the crust was baked firm.
As you can see, it doesn't take much to imagine you're in Rome.
Wall Street Journal alert—in today's Mansion section (go here or please buy the paper), I interview Jim McCarty for the "House Call" column. [Photo above of Jim McCarty by Philip Cheung for the Wall Street Journal]. Jim is the original drummer for the Yardbirds, the British rock band formed in 1963. Today he talks about why he and his wife recently moved away from a small quaint town in Provence, France. Here's Jim and the Yardbirds in the film Blow-Up from 1966. Jim told me this scene took director Michelangelo Antonioni five days to shoot...