the gathering

At 7am on a terribly rainy Saturday, I made my way up Broadway through the ultra quiet streets of Soho to The Union Square Greenmarket to meet my friend and fellow gastrophile, Nancy Jo. After much indecision about what to do for Easter this year, I decided to stay in the city and cook with friends.

Nancy and I decided to set some parameters for the meal. We would be inspired by our shared Southern Italian roots and the bounty of Spring. At the market we bought pink oyster mushrooms, ramps, Arucauna and pheasant eggs, dinosaur kale, french radishes,  spicy spring greens, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, rhubarb, cippolini onions, escarole, baby artichokes, artisan bread, mint and other herbs. Then, over a soft boiled egg at  Le Pan Quotidian, escaping the rain...we plotted our menu.


crostini with ramp

crostini with poached rhubarb, thyme and fresh ricotta

crostini with sauteed pink oyster mushrooms

hard boiled arucauna  and pheasant eggs with sale di cervia and crushed black pepper

 french radishes with sea salt and butter

assorted meat and cheeses, fennel salami and Prosciutto di Parma

homemade ricotta with miele di castagno

frittata de menta

raw kale salad

escarole pie

onion pie with anchovies and black olives

bucatini with ramp pesto

fried baby artichokes with lemon and sea salt inspired by the artichokes at Maiolino


maple cheesecake

and a beautiful cake from Fortunato Brothers 

guests brought Lambrusco and various other wines and drinks!


recipes to come.


gastrophile/ noun.

One who loves good eating and plenty of it.



A couple of years ago,we discovered a new cafe in our neighborhood, Oro Bakery Bar. We started frequenting it every morning as it was just on the way to our parking garage. Unfortunately, at the time I was off caffiene and they don't see the point of decaf. I did however, indulge in the amazing breakfast pastries. They are made fresh every morning and chances are if you arrive early, the chocolate croissants will still be warm! Dorina the owner, was trained at the French Culinary after a career in finance didn't quite satisfy her soul. Lucky for us she chose the right path!

One of the most unusual things about Oro is that it is a sweet cafe in the morning and then transitions to a bar in the evening. It is the perfect place to grab a glass of wine and a quick bite and finish it off with something sweet. Try the mango cheesecake if you are lucky enough to pass by when it is in season. While securing a foothold in a neighborhood full of cafes that attract millions of tourists, Oro still manages to feel like our own neighborhood secret. It is never crowded and always full of familiar faces. They have recently partnered in a new venture, Lafayette Espresso Bar and Marketplace between Broome and Grand Streets. It is a great place to get a sandwich on the go while in Soho. I recommend a green juice called the mood changer. If you live in the hood it helps to combat the bastions of tourists with a smile!