So grad school may not prevent me from eating (as my disturbingly regular afternoon chocolate chip cookie break can attest), but it certainly prevents me from writing about it. In between chapters of the U.S. military's Counterinsurgency Manual and afternoons spent deriving the consumer and producer surplus, I've savored barstool dinners at Franny's and Bar Stuzzichini, both purveyors of rustic, nibbly Italian food and home to well-made aperitifs. I've also discovered 50-cent Ukrainian-grandmother-made varenyky in the East Village, sampled Jing Fong's dim sum, and found time to whip up a nutmeg-laced apple crisp. And of course, $3 pizza slices have found their way into my mouth on more than one late night walk home from the library.
Dinner at Bar Stuzzichini--arancini (risotto balls stuffed with cheese), meatballs and eggplant involtini
My dining highlight of the past week, however, was a pre-econ midterm dinner at Ouest. Dinner at this proper spot helped remind me of my adult self, not the cramming in the library with vending machine snacks and drinking $2 Coors Light grad school self (to clarify, the beers are not consumed in the library, though that might help). J and I slipped into the bar, among the well-coiffed ladies and blue-blazered gents of the Upper West Side, and ordered comforting, fork-tender game dishes--pan roasted squab for him, roasted rabbit for me. In both dishes, the sides nearly outshone the meats, not a small feat. For every bite I snatched of his earthy duck liver risotto, he paid me back with a fork in my garlicky capellini studded with wild mushrooms.
The prices at Ouest aren't grad student friendly, but on the day before a big exam, I decided a treat was in order. Besides, all that vending machine food saves me plenty.
New York, NY 10024
between 83rd and 84th