Friday, October 01, 2004

I Wanna Go Home

A week and a half ago, wandering through the Village (or is it The Village?), Jamie and I paused to look at a menu for Home. We were hungry and I knew I’d heard the name—in fact, I was pretty sure I’d heard good things associated with the name—but we decided we weren’t in the mood for American food (you can read the whole story, including where we ended up, plus a couple great recipes, here). Over the next several days, intermittently, we’d talk about how American cuisine really didn’t do anything for us and, besides, I’d made chicken cordon bleu the night before.

It turns out we’d unfairly maligned American cuisine. Last night, visiting teaching, Jamie found out that Rick and Misty (who are our It people for all things food-related) love Home. Context? Apparently, somehow the discussion led to Jamie’s relating that I won’t eat ketchup; Home makes its own ketchup, which Misty seemed to think I’d like. We were looking to have one more nice meal before I started work. On the strength of their recommendation (plus the fact that they have a $13.99 lunch special where you get any entrée and any dessert) we decided to go there today.

We showed up for a late (3:30) lunch—we’d finished breakfast at noon. And the restaurant looked deserted, other than four people apparently scouting out their dinner seating (they decided on the table by the door, even though people were going to be coming in and out, then hugged each other and left). An employee asked us if we wanted to be seated inside or out. I glanced backwards, but the sidewalk wasn’t big enough for a chair, much less a table and two chairs. Again, it turns out there’s a backyard with a wood deck and room for, say, a dozen tables. Everybody (which, at 3:30, meant three other tables) was out back. Today was gorgeous, and the atmosphere was nice.

I didn’t try Home’s ketchup today; the grilled trout was too tempting. Jamie had the chive and spinach pasta with sweet peas, leeks, lima beans, and asiago cheese. I was still talking about the fish at 5:30 when I dropped Jamie off at her dance rehearsal; I probably would have talked about it the whole way home except that, even in New York, people look at you funny when you talk to yourself about trout on the subway. But the trout was perfect—moist, fresh, perfectly done, and sauce-less, complemented only by bed of cracked wheat, grape tomatoes, and cucumber on which it was served, plus the lime I squeezed over it. It didn’t need anything to disguise (or, for that matter, enhance) its flavor.

Dessert for me was a delicious goat cheesecake with diced pear—its flavor and consistency were a little off of your run-of-the-mill cheesecake, but in a good way. Jamie had a chocolate pie with pecans that wasn’t as good as my dessert, but was still pretty darn good.

I should also mention that our waiter served us ginger lemonade (which was a bit tart for me—I like mine sweet—but perfect for Jamie) pulled out of a half-size fridge in the back, right by our table. There were a couple caterpillars that Jamie saved from sure dishwashing. And we learned that spectacular American food can be cooked in a kitchen even smaller than ours (as we were leaving, though, they were setting up for a party of 17; I have no idea how the kitchen could produce that many dishes at once—I’m not even sure they could fit that many dishes in the kitchen at once, and I shudder to think about washing them).

So American is my new favorite cuisine. And some day, if I can ignore the fish, I’ll try the ketchup—if ketchup is edible anywhere, it’s edible at Home.