I love traveling. Whether I’m headed to a small town in the Midwest or a bustling market in Taiwan, my heart always races a bit as I board the plane just thinking about all the amazing new food adventures waiting for me. Touching down this week in Manhattan, one of my favorite cities on the planet, was no different.
New York City is full of hidden gems. Strolling down the street, you feel like an explorer on a mission to discover your newest favorite eatery. On Sunday afternoon, I came across Antique Garage in SoHo, a sweet little spot that was just perfect for some hummus and raspberry and blackberry vodka lemonade. The next night, after stopping by the Today Show and photographing the cover of my upcoming cookbook What’s for Dinner?, a group of us grabbed a table at the window and some fantastic fried olives at Balaboosta. My favorite discovery this trip, however, was actually a re-discovery. The first time I’d been to Torrisi in Little Italy, I was blown away. So I was nervous that this tiny 25-seat restaurant wouldn’t live up to my memory. It didn’t—it was better.
In a city jam-packed with dining options, Torrisi stands out as a true original. The intimate dining room has plain tiled walls and a chalkboard listing the nightly seven-course tasting menu. Tables are pressed up against each other and waiters look like they’re doing yoga as they stretch to reach each diner. But the laid back room and super simple menu descriptions (Duck Rillette Maraschino, Linguine and Clams) hide a little secret: the food at this little Italian-American eatery is out of this world. Plate after plate looks good and tastes amazing. Under-promise and over-deliver is definitely the code Torrisi lives by.
It was a great trip, full of fabulous food, but I’m happy to be heading home to my family in Los Angeles today. After all, they make my heart race, too.