It’s another season now. But it was fun while it lasted— while the strawberries were red and ripe, sweet and juicy; the tomatoes plump with little give; and the green zucchinis were bright, mellow, and plentiful. That was summer.
It’s fall now, but I can still taste the late summer at North End Grill.
I can feel the gritty bread in between my teeth and the sandy chunks of sea salt sprinkled by my own hand in the sweet and creamy butter.
I can feel the effervescent bubbles tingle and pop on my tongue as I sipped sparkling wine, and the slinky flesh of oysters glide with obvious luxury passed my lips.
I can smell the hot fresh garlic painted on thin crust studded with plump little clams, gems of succulent meat not nearly attached to the crisp foundation, and the fresh aroma of decadent butter and fresh herbs, green moments.
I can taste the acidity and oil emulsified with summer tomatoes, smeared on just thick enough bread, toasted till cratered and crunchy. Savory small smoky anchovies languish on the textured toast and tomato, and peppered fragrant rosemary.
I can taste the fatty rounds of trotter torchon, speckled pink and white, marbled and indulgent, crowned with dressed greens and a string of aioli.
I can smell the ribbons of bright zucchini draped in fat flakes of pecorino cheese, earthy, salty, dry, rounded off with studs of anchovies, pretty summer on a plate, herbs and all.
I can hear the unmistakable crunch of French fries made crisp in duck fat, creating a solid layer of refined crust and a slender soft interior.
I can see the vivid red strawberries, arranged like an origami flower, layered on top of a sweet cookie shell, with a smooth dollop of strawberry cream, and fresh rounds of savory basil gel.
I can see the cityscape from the high-above roof garden, a vista of Battery Park, and lines of trimmed and plucked produce, already in use at North End Grill below.
I miss summer, but I can fall for fall, too.