Photograph courtesy ilbambinonyc.com
I’m from Texas originally so, needless to say, I’m not quite used to all this white stuff falling from the sky. Last month just happened to be the snowiest month in history for our fair city and the effects were certainly felt in the form of frozen runny noses and more than a few slips on the icy
sidewalks. But a little snow never hurt anybody so last week the lady friend and I decided to brave the harsh conditions outside for a trip to our most favorite neighborhood spot, Il Bambino.
Bambino was one of the first places I discovered after I moved here a little over a year ago and I immediately became a regular. At first I was overwhelmed by the diverse selection of fine charcuterie and cheeses paired with house made sauces and pressed between two slices of crusty bread, but I eventually worked my way through the panini menu and have only recently begun to branch out to their crostini and other appetizers.
On the previously stated snowy night, I started with the stuffed piquillo peppers and a Rogue Shakespeare Stout. The peppers were stuffed with mozzarella and chorizo and cushioned on a bed of avocado butter surrounded by herb infused oils. My only complaint about the peppers was that I
wished there were more of them. The serving size was appropriate but they were so delicious I certainly could have eaten fifteen of them without batting an eye. The sweet tang of the peppers combined with the spice of the chorizo cut through the creaminess of the mozzarella and avocado and made for a perfectly balanced dish. The Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout was the perfect winter beer and the perfect size (22 oz.) for me to work up the courage to go back out into
the blizzard. Rich, dark and chocolaty, it could have been an appetizer all by itself.
For my first venture into Il Bambino’s crostini section of the menu I chose the Truffle Egg Salad with Shaved Speck. My first thought after biting into the crostini was that I could now die a happy man that I have tried truffle egg salad. My second thought was that I had been making a huge mistake by never trying the crostini. The considerably lower price I thought would mean a much smaller portion but it was quite the opposite. There was enough truffle egg salad on just one of the slices of bread to make three more reasonably sized sandwiches. The shaved speck added a smoky, chewy layer to the creamy earthiness of the egg salad. Heaven on a slice of bread.
I will definitely be back to revisit the truffle egg salad (they should sell it by the pint) and other crostini and tapas just as soon as I find an excuse (no need) to trek the three long blocks over there. Maybe next time it won’t be snowing so hard.