Eating with Hipster Jr. always taints reviews a bit. Trying to enjoy an adult meal with a squirmy two-year-old is like Picasso trying on glasses or Paris Hilton being taken seriously as a human being; frustrating and damn near impossible. There’s also the issue of chowing down at a time when the kid isn’t sleeping, or supposed to be sleeping. And that’s why this evening in particular I saw more see-through beauty parlor cotton puff bouffant hair-dos than I had since the last time I stopped to pee in a Cracker Barrel somewhere in PA at 4:00pm. I must say that now I understand why they call them bluehairs. I even saw one woman with the wacky magenta thing going on. So punk. The first thing you notice about this place (besides the stack of collapsed walkers in the corner) is that it is packed tighter than Starr Jones’ walnut-sized stomach. Once you wend your way through tables and around waiters to get to your table, your faced with one of those classic, hand-written chalk boards filled with the many fish and pasta specials offered up in various sauces and whatnot. I guess it saves the waiter the effort of having to memorize the list. I decided to skip the specials (I’ve seen a monkfish and would rather eat week-old roadkill) and ordered the standby, chicken parmesan. It was certainly decent, but I didn’t like take photos and run home and post it to my poultry blog or anything. I mean, let’s be real here: this isn’t a destination restaurant or anything; it’s a neighborhood spot that provides a good variety of Italian food for a relatively low price in comfortable, but crowded, surroundings. There are lots of these kinds places around Manhattan–some better then others–but it’s places like these that make Manhattan the Mecca of food. Because as ordinarily good this joint is, it would be the best Italian around in any suburban hood, and probably most medium-sized cities throughout the U.S. [MF]
625 Columbus Ave.