Comfort Me With Mozzarella

3 Nov

A few weekends ago we decided to partake of our favorite, only in New York, activity. Real estate porn. The best way to indulge in this guilty pleasure is to make up a list of unique and pretty, yet slightly-out-of-your-price-range apartments that are for sale and plot them out so that you’ll get in a nice walk going from open house to open house.

We did not look at an apartment in this building, but I love it. If anyone knows the owner, put in a good word for me.

What’s the goal of this game? To be honest, I don’t know, but it’s somehow edifying. I don’t know if it’s the schadenfreude of seeing that some people live in smaller, darker, noisier, staler, whiter apartments, or the jealousy of seeing that some people live in gigantic floor-thru townhouses with period detailing that hasn’t been touched since 1920, but, it’s a cheap thrill, free in fact, and harms no one.

You get to paw through people’s drug cabinets, poke their towels, pass judgment on their book and magazine collections, caress their marble counter-tops, poopoo their wine selections and laugh at their decorating schemes. And since you can’t afford any of these places, there’s no temptation.

So, a few weekends ago we went to see the most laughable “studio” apartment on the Gold Coast. Seriously, my senior year dorm room in college was bigger and nicer. There was no real kitchen (just a dorm fridge and a hot plate) and barely room for a bed bigger than a twin, all yours for $400,000! Eep! But, I’d always wanted to know what was inside those grand old behemoths on lower Fifth Avenue, and now I know.

Our next destination was in the far West Village. As we walked my stomach started rumbling. We passed Gray’s Papaya where I briefly considered stopping for the breakfast of champions, but did not. (Maybe it was the guilt of having consumed a lot of kielbasa the night before)? We walked some more, I pondered… And then I saw it.

Dogmatic turkey hotdog. Yum.

A shiny silver cart off in the distance. Could it be? Oh yes, it could, and it was. The Dogmatic Hot Dog Cart! I got a turkey dog with spicy ketchup. It was delicious. They take a half-baguette and spike it on this toaster thingy that toasts the inside of the bread! Then they squirt the condiment in and pop the sausage in (that’s why it’s in the middle of the bun).

Doesn’t that picture kinda remind you of this one or this one? I think I need a name for that shot, like the “Up The Skirt” photo nomenclature at Slice. Anyway, sausage in hand we headed off to our next rendezvous, a sweet little one bedroom a mere block and a half from the Hudson.

A tugboat on the Hudson.

The problem with this apartment was that the porn got real. This one was brilliant. It was amazing. It was perfect. And it was virtually affordable. We floated out of the courtyard (with a garden! That I could garden in!) and stumbled to our next destination, another featureless white box across from a beautiful park. But we couldn’t get that apartment out of our minds. We needed coffee. Stat. Or cheese. Or both. We went for both.

I suppose in reality the last thing a fevered mind reeling with possibilities needs is an incredibly good (and strong) large cappuccino from Tarallucci e Vino (which just happens to be next-door to my favorite place to slurp noodles in the whole world), but well, the soul needed it. The soul also needed cheese, and not just any cheese but fresh mozzarella, and the soul needed to cook too.

We grabbed the mozza from Russo’s on 11th rather than hoofing it all the way back down to DiPalo’s and decided that rather than eating it with some bread, we’d make Pillows Of Love again, and this time, rather than covering them in too much sauce, we’d use nothing more than olive oil and truffle salt.

The last time we made these sexy little packets of mozza love, we debated as to whether or not it would be possible to flavor the cheese, and if so, would it be advisable. So, before wrapping the cheese in the wonton wrappers I dusted the chunks with some herbes de provence and some finely grated aged Parmesan.

And the outcome? The Pillows Of Love were delicious, but I must warn you. If you make these, do not make too many. They are rich. Be judicious. Force yourself to eat just a few. I think they’d make a wicked hors-d’oeuvres for a dinner party, or better yet, serve a few of them floating on top of a Velouté de Tomates à la Provençal. It’s one of the recipes I’m most proud of. So simple, so delicious and dead sexy.

And the apartment? That still remains to be seen. Probably nothing, but, hey, you never know!


8 Responses to “Comfort Me With Mozzarella”

  1. Luisa November 3, 2006 at 11:01 am #

    Um, no link to the perfect apartment?!? Come on, Ann! Let us property-less New Yorkers revel with you…

  2. ann November 3, 2006 at 11:37 am #

    lol! It was through a classified ad on the Times site that’s no longer there! trust me, if I had one, I would have included it… I’ll draw you a picture if you like ;-)

  3. sher November 3, 2006 at 11:38 am #

    What a great post!!! Loved it! You should be hired as a roving reporter for NYC.

  4. Julie November 3, 2006 at 2:34 pm #

    I love these ramble through New York posts too. And now I’m hoping we hear more about the perfect apartment. What’s more fun than buying real estate?

    Your ravioli look delicious!

  5. bloglily November 3, 2006 at 10:13 pm #

    Oh so beautiful — the cheese and the porn walk pictures!

  6. Tim November 4, 2006 at 4:59 am #

    I loved the apartment ‘shopping’ story – reminded me of our pre-prepurchse adventures! Lots of open homes that we knew we could not afford. We called it market research. Look outside your price range – so you know what you actually want… washed down with a latte and a post open home debrief! Great fun!

  7. s'kat November 7, 2006 at 10:00 am #

    I used to do something similar with my Mom when I was younger… it was always a good time. Although, I never pooh-poohed anyone’s wine collection, but only because I was too young to drink it.

    Does this mean you’re moving?!?

  8. ann November 7, 2006 at 11:52 am #

    Sher – Thanks! Wouldn’t that be the best job ever??

    Julie – There’ll be more, I promise! I’d be a fool not to give you guys what you want :-)

    Bloglilly – Thanks to you too!

    Tim – It’s so awesome to hear that real estate porn is a worldwide phenom.

    S’kat – it remains to be seen… I have a feeling there will be moving at some point next year, so to whether it’s just another rental or not depends on oh so many factors!

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