Friday, October 16, 2009

Uptown Girl Review

Last night I met a friend at a fairly new Upper Eastside eatery. I'd been there once before for coffee and a pastry, but we went for a little after-work snacky snack.
Gina La Fornarina, on 2nd Ave between 81st and 82nd. From the first time I passed this place on the M15 bus, I knew I had to pay a visit. It was summer and the entire front of the restaurant was open. There was a sea of white walls, ceiling, tables, chairs, shelves, bar, everything. And the tables overflowed onto the sidewalk. It didn't look like your typical "sidewalk seating" section, but just an extension of the seating inside. And I fell in love a little bit. It made my mind travel to some far off European city.

Now that the Big Apple is in the midst of an undesirable nor'easter, the outdoor seating is no longer an option and the restaurant's outer wall is a row of windows. Last night, already drenched and freezing, I was overjoyed to get to Gina's and step inside this warm peaceful atmosphere. After my body adjusted to the temperature I started to freeze again. Unfortunately, they had a window-wall panel open and I was getting a brisk breeze. Not nice at all. I'm not sure if the restaurant was actually freezing due to the open window, or if I was personally freezing in my rain soaked pants and converse kicks. The world may never know. The world does know this: I complained to the waiter and eventually the window-wall panel was closed and I was relieved of the gusty wind, but still cold.

I think deep down I am a glittering socialite diva. But even deeper down I am an elderly lady. The evidence: once I get cold I can't shake it, can't warm up, I think it is in my bones. My bones are cold and my body is shivering from the inside out. Also I have grey hair beneath this hairdye, my bones creak, and I listen to music from 40 years ago.

This sparkling diva has an announcement to make. You must MUST check out Gina la Fornarina. Because aside from the fluke weather issues, it is a find. It has yummy coffee, drinks (dying to try their Bellini), and food. Last night we shared this interesting focaccia pizza with bread on top and bottom, stuffed with ricotta cheese, tomatoes, arugula, and truffle sauce. It was unbelievable and I had to stuff myself. No choice really.

That said, my favorite part is actually the European atmosphere. There is no rush, and I felt as though we could stay there all night chatting and munching, like the table belonged to us. I've passed by several nights when there are couples or groups sitting there relaxing enjoying a bottle of wine and felt the urge to go join them (but I resisted).

[not the best pic, but I swear it was delish]

That is my two cents on my favorite fall find. Check it out and let me know what you think. Better yet, lets go together. I'd be happy to let you take me out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks. Because that's the kind of girl I am.

1 comment:

rita said...

Just wait till you're 50. I used to be cold all the time, especially when the temperature dropped below 75. Now I'm hot all the time except for my feet, and if I sleep with socks on the rest of me is too hot. I cannot win.