Saturday, May 21, 2005

An Old Favorite

A good friend of mine was in town from Miami and he invited me and the mysterious Chinese woman to have dinner with him and a few other or our friends at one of my very favorite Italian restaurants.

514) Capucine's

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Capucine's is located at 327 2nd Avenue, right on the corner of 19th Street. I have been going here for over twenty years and, to a large extent, the staff has remained the same. Every time I show up they treat me like a long lost relative and, for those of you who are Italian, you know that is an affectionate greeting indeed. I will have to admit, however, that I seldom have a drink at the bar. Probably because it is so small, just three chairs. Tonight, however, I made an exception.

The bar is, as mentioned, very small but the drinks are very good. The wooden bar, although small, does have a brass rail although with the three chairs packed in there really isn't any room to stand. Above the bar is a wooden rack for glasses that is the same width as the bar and supported by narrow columns positioned at each end and at the corner of the bar where it hooks around. Little white Christmas lights surround this and there are flowers and an American flag above it. Small shelves for the liquor are built into the recessed area around a small window. The walls are a light pink with a band of painted, or wallpaper, grape vines.

There are two dining areas, one by the bar and one in separate room to the left when you walk in. It is a cozy place with a largely neighborhood crowd. What makes this place special, in addition to the great food at reasonable prices, is the attentive and very friendly staff. When I lived in the neighborhood I used to go here at least once a week. I don't get here nearly that often now but whenever I do it is a real treat.

I had a Bombay martini, up, with a twist at the bar and a couple more with my excellent meal of veal with eggplant, prosciutto, and cheese. Looking forward to the leftovers.

Not much of a day in terms of upping the count, but I did pass a few bar as I walked to Capucine's from the subway so I will be heading back soon. Perhaps I will hit them on the way to another meal here. This was number 514 for the year leaving 486 to go.


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