This is what happens when I forget about something I really want to write about and also how quickly time flies. I had such great intentions of writing this post shortly after I dined at Via Carota on our last trip back East. Then time passes and I realize I have forgotten to write about this gem. Today is the day. Lucky for us, it will be around a good long while, so my tardy post is not really a worry.
Via Carota is the new restaurant that was created by Jody Williams of Buvette fame along with her partner in life, Rita Sodi, of I Sodi fame. To say I was in heaven when I walked in the door is an understatement. The space just feels good. Jody is a master at creating rooms that make you feel comforted & welcome. I actually was feeling a tad under the weather that night, but I mustered all my energy as I just could not wait until the next trip to enjoy a meal there. I went solo and sat up at the bar, which was a perfect perch for taking in every glorious detail. The happy energy in the room by happy diners was palpable. Walking and buying at a show can be so draining as it is a non-stop day of buying/talking with folks, that I just soaked up being alone and let the experience of being there and not really talking and just enjoying the food & environment take center stage. Rita is known for her sublime Italian fare, combined with Jody’s attention to simplicity of flavors at Buvette. Mix the two together and the meal and presentation are flawless. The Meyer lemon risotto tasting like Meyer lemons and perfectly cooked. The citrus salad with shaved red onions and black olives just so pure in their flavor with just the lightest dressing of oil. Even the bread was creatively presented stacked on a small vintage plate topped with extraordinary olive oil. Add a glass of dry white wine and it made me feel like I was sitting in a little bistro in Italy on a sunny day, where in truth, it was freezing cold outside and snowing. The meal and the experience transported me. If you get a chance to eat at Via Carota when you are in NYC, do. You will be so happy you did. It is right down the street from Buvette on Grove. They don’t take reservations, so go as a small group, twosome, or solo and sit up at the bar. I am smiling quite contently as I type this as the thought of it all washes over me. This is what a stellar meal/dining experience does–it should stay with you and create a memorable memory.
These potato chips are a ‘take’ on a recipe from the glorious Buvette cookbook. A spin our friend Catherine so cleverly thought of to infuse chips with rosemary without having to actually make potato chips from scratch. Simply chop up a good amount of rosemary quite fine. Layer the best store bought potato chips you can find onto a baking sheet or sheets. Sprinkle said finely chopped rosemary over the top of the chips. Put into a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes. Your kitchen will smell divine during this process. Gently mix things around at the 10 minute point. When done put in a pretty bowl. Serve with cocktails or Champagne for a high/low mix that will knock your socks off. It will be the first thing to go at your next party or gathering. A short-cut that is so simple yet so tasty. I whipped up a batch for our cocktail party the other evening and they were the perfect thing to have out while folks waited for their drink to me made.
I’m catching up on reading this Holiday week-end, and just delighted to read about and see all the great visual & coverage the new Buvette in Paris received.
I have written much of my love of Buvette in New York, so it is so interesting & exciting to see images of how she recreated the magic of the eatery in Paris too. Sure enough, she did! Chef/owner Jody Williams not only creates brilliantly simple/refined/rustic food, she also creates brilliantly layered and oh so stylish spaces. She takes a classic and puts her own twist on it–both in her food and her interiors. You just feel good in the space eating good food. Really as simple as that. Now I can’t wait for a Paris trip to try her new establishment!