164 West 75th Street, 212-787-6300
Wood-roasted sardines, Parmesan fritters sparked by cayenne, poached eggs atop sardines and speck, and roasted oysters with tomato zabaglione are hardly the usual antipasti you see laid out with unappetizing abandon at your local trattoria. ’Cesca offers over a dozen more choices like these. Tom Valenti can’t help himself. He loves big food with big flavors, even in his small portions (“small” is a relative term here; his antipasti are the size of most other chefs’ appetizers). So Cubanelle peppers get stuffed like piñatas and veal meatballs will blow the rest of the meal for a wimpy eater. You could actually put together a holiday-size feast of nothing but Valenti’s antipasti. Of course, then you’d miss out on his really big dishes.
- Photo by Carina Salvi
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).