Yesterday, I took the train up from the city to meet my parents, brother, sister and Swiss exchange student (they're hosting) in the Bronx for an early dinner on Arthur Avenue. It was my dad's birthday.
My mom chose Zero Otte Nove, a new-to-me pizzeria and sprawling trattoria.
We ate well, as expected, beginning with an incredible Neapolitan-style margherita pizza prepared with fresh buffalo mozzarella and a spectacular homemade sauce from San Marzano tomatoes.At the same time, my mom, dad and I began working on a Pinot Nero.
Soon after, I received my Insalata de Arugola with spicy arugula, shaved parmesan, olive oil and fresh ground pepper.
Then came the entrées... or antipasti, Portobella al Forno, being as I'd had a slice pizza as an appetizer. The portobello mushroom filled with diced tomatoes, basil and goat cheese was just enough while also leaving me room to enjoy...
a side of broccoli di rapa, the bitter staple at all Italian dining experiences.
I also helped myself to one of my mom's soft shell crabs, served fra diavalo with one of the most amazing sauces I've ever tasted. And afterwards, it was time for me to "run to the rest room" (read: secretly tell the waiter it was my father's birthday so that he could bring out dessert with a candle).Before we knew it, a small strawberry cheesecake, candle and birthday song were served. I think he had a happy birthday, don't you? He definitely deserved it.