Ahh Union Square Cafe. Something about this classic New York restaurant always called out to me, yet I never tried it until recently. For shame. There are few places in the city that I deem worth a pricey lunch trip in the middle of the week (and this one IS pricey), but this was worth every bite, and every penny.
Do you know that you can get pasta as an appetizer? I know, this isn’t a revelation, but the Pappardelle pasta with guanciale, roasted carrots and chanterelle mushrooms was. Tender strips of pappardelle pasta are bathed lightly in butter, then tossed with the spicy guanciale, the creamy roasted carrots, and earthy mushrooms. Literally…best pasta I’ve had in a long time. I actually don’t eat pasta a lot and it’s because I find it to be boring or not cooked right – NOT the case here. So, so delicious and perfect for Fall.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese. I know, sounds boring right? But when you have good, sweet tomatoes, and herbed goat cheese with thinly sliced red onion and basil, you appreciate the simplicity. Light and refreshing, you may want to trade in that heavy caesar salad for this any day.
The special sandwich of the day was shaved pork with red onion, pickles, and a creamy, tangy chipotle sauce. Similar to a Cuban, it was tender and not at all dry, as pork tends to get. The bread was perfectly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside to soak up that wonderful sauce. Wish I knew what that was. Regardless, it came with a side of fresh-out-of-the-fryer potato chips too. So…win win.
A meal that stays delicious from start to finish is really a special thing – you’d be surprised at how many places can’t get an appetizer right, or the dessert is weak, or the service sucks. It’s actually quite disappointing. If you want to be lifted out of your jaded New Yorker bubble, give Union Square Cafe a try.
Union Square Cafe
21 East 16th Street
Reservations Link: Union Square Cafe