Monday, April 19, 2010

A Tasty Detour to NYC's Lower East Side

Visitors to New York City are rewarded when they venture off the beaten path. In the East Village, right on the edge of so-called Alphabet City, we found both relative quiet and culinary bliss.

Our first stop on Friday was a place called Porchetta. It's located at 110 East 7th Street. What, you might ask, is the allure of a tiny storefront eatery with interior room for only four stools and plain wooden counters? It's all about the food: succulent, fall-right-off-the-bone roast pork with crispy skin and those wonderful "burnt ends." (You can even order a side of burnt ends.)

I ordered the porchetta plate, which was accompanied by sauteed kale and canellini beans. Delicious. Before it is roasted, the pork at Porchetta is seasoned with that marvelous Italian mixture of salt, parsley, sage, rosemary and perhaps one or two other herbs.

Dessert was found across the street and only a few doors down at 123 East 7th Street is Butter Lane. It's an appropriate name for a cupcake store. This is no chain outlet. Butter Lane relies on solid ingredients, many of them locally sourced, to produce excellent cupcakes. A banana cupcake with buttercream frosting was excellent.