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A Dinner Out, A Dinner In!

Posted Apr 12 2011 12:00am

I was so excited to have a full weekend in the city!  I cleaned my apartment, saw friends, relaxed went to the movies, ran a race , and of course, ate great food. 

On Saturday night, we saw Arthur, which was okay.  But I was pretty excited that I had a surprise dinner location in store: Asellina!    This is a newish italian restaurant in the Gansevoort Park. It’s supposed to be kind of a hot spot, so I wasn’t surprised that when I booked on Tuesday, the earliest reservation was for 10:15.

We arrived around 9:45, so we got a drink at the very crowded bar.  It was definitely a popular spot with loud music and lot of seating around the bar.  The restaurant had several back rooms with many large parties.  When we got seated I was pretty hungry and tired of waiting, so I was a little confused when our waiter left in the middle of taking our order and completely disappeared for over 10 minutes.  Finally someone brought bread and water (life’s essentials) and things improved greatly.

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While I think there was some understaffing in the kitchen, since many tables seemed to be asking for food and questioning waiters, once we finally ordered everything went quite smoothly.

We shared the meatballs, which were in the most amazing tomato and white bean sauce, I basically just ate the sauce, it was insane.

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For the main courses, I ordered the margarita flatbread and a side of sautéed rapini!

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Frank got the wild boar paparadelle

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The food was all great.  The meatballs and rapini shined.

Overall Asellina was a fun dinner spot. I think it would be a good place for a party since they have some huge tables.  I would make a reservation further in advance next time to avoid eating at 11PM.

As you know, on Sundays we cook.  This Sunday we kept it simple with salads and rice stuffed tomatoes.

This salad is something I made all the time in my single days. It’s one of my favorite meals of all time. Lettuce,  avocado, bell pepper, cucumber, corn, carrot, and sauteed tempeh.    asellina salad 077

Here is my highly recommended tempeh preparation, I’ve found nothing better. Spray a pan with cooking spray and put it on the stove on medium, then add some soy and teraki sauce, the thin kikoman kind works well (obviously I have to use salt free versions now, but for others I’d go for regular), add some garlic powder and throw the cubed tempeh in the pan.  Toast it in the sauce to coat and then let it it get nice and browned on all sides so the soy and teraiki is crispy!  Amazing!Any dressing will work, but Newman’s Light Honey Dijon is a great compliment.

I also made stuffed tomatoes from Everyday Italian

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These were so easy, and the boy LOVED them.

I have to say, I don’t think I could possibly use any cookbook more than I use Everyday Italian. I have so many good cookbooks, and yet I always reach for Giada.

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