I couldn't say. I felt sad for the lonely, crispy, salty, herbaceous breadsticks, which assuaged my hunger before our food arrived. My sweetbreads were a touch overcooked, but their crust--it must be cornmeal--lingered. Even our desserts, scoops of gelato laced with chocolate and caramel and banana and a host of other secrets belied a restaurant that should be remembered and isn't. The food is delicate and modest in its portions. There are no disappointments, aside from the spare following. I hope they keep their doors open through another long winter.
On to other sprouts. In Astoria, on another cold night, I found myself at Vesta, a wine bar with Italian inclinations that opened a year or so ago. Upon first glance, one might think their pizzas a hair too large, but the crust is cracker-thin and so the slices go down easy. I could have used more blue cheese and less sauce on my pie of blue and caramelized onions, but never mind. The fusilli, while too large a portion for sure, came with crisped sweet Italian sausage and a sauce that boasted an old Italian secret: starchy cooking water from the pasta pot. It was a stick-to-your-ribs bowl perfectly suited to the weather. The grass-fed rib-eye is a steal at $25. I would have liked to have sliced it myself, but never mind. It came rare, as ordered, and well seasoned, which says something about the diligence of the kitchen.
For dessert, I allowed the server to talk me into Baby Jesus Cake, which is really just a toffee steamed pudding adorned with fresh whipped cream. My server was right; I was glad I had listened.
95 Allen Street
New York, NY 11201
Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar
21-02 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11102