Lunches at Little Owl
This particular post is merging two different outings on one place and that’s the Little Owl. I decided to write about this place all in one shot since it develops a fuller picture on their lunches (and I do admit that I’m missing out on the dinner portion but I have yet to find a person or friend to eat there with me).
Back to the Little Owl. I remember reading from Grub Street’s post that the Little Owl was serving lunch. To me, that’s a huge deal since I can’t find any friend who can and willing to eat there for dinner. Don’t ask me why but it happens to be that way. Since Helen’s interning nearby (always up for good food) and it’s her last day there [insert wailing cry] we coordinated to have a bittersweet lunch there.
Reading the entire menu, everything sounds delicious but what I felt a bit carnivorous that day that I urged Helen to share their signature meatball sliders and a burger with me. We added something not as meat-intense by throwing in the ricotta cavatelli since she asked me, “What is it?” (It’s a cylindrical-shaped pasta with ridges, by the way.) I ordered it for the sake of answering her question by seeing it and trying it.
After ordering our food, we’re graced with plates of sliced bread and a fruity olive oil. The bread’s fine but I do like the olive oil more.
We’re technically served one long plate containing our shared appetizers (in other words, the kitchen split everything neatly for us) of the ricotta cavatelli and the sliders. Since I brought my macro lens only, you’ll get individual shots. Anyway, the cavatelli was really good. The slightly tangy tomato broth infused with the salty, slightly smoky bacon bits made it a really tasty sauce that we mopped the remnants with our bread for this light, faintly chewy pasta. The fava beans add a slight crunch to the dish.
The meatball sliders were incredible. What’s so memorable about them were the delicious garlic buns (as I found out from a friend of mine, Kathryn told me there’s a recipe so you can make it at home).
The buns tasted so foccacia-like that I was swooning over it like a madwoman. The meatballs were delicious and juicy that its juices were dripping down my hand. I wish I was motivated enough to cook. Baking is another story since I love sweets and tend to make them more often. I’m diverting from the subject here…
After finishing our appetizers, we’re presented with the cutest little things in the restaurant. No, I’m not talking about babies or pet-able animals. I’m talking about this [points down].
These tiny condiment bottles were given to us since we ordered the burger and our waiter asked if we would like any ketchup or mustard. I don’t really mind having all of them, so we just said, “We’ll have each of them, on the side please.” So, we’re given these newborn condiments. Too cute.
Since we told our waiter from the beginning that we’re splitting everything, the kitchen even halved our burger so cleanly that I would never get that kind of cut on my own. So, we get the innards shot of a medium-rare burger right from the start. Awesome. The plus is that tastes as good as it looks. Juicy burger that’s well seasoned and the over the plethora of toppings that would spew out if you pile it on (as you see from Helen’s incident here). Did I mentioned there’s cheese and BACON in there. Yeah, that’s an awesome burger. The spiced fries were a tad crisp and very well seasoned but I wished it’s crispier.
We ran out of time and have to skip dessert. Helen had to make an important phone call to her supervisor so, we really had to go back to work. We asked for the check and amusing to us, they use gently worn paperbacks as the check holder. It’s cute and useful.
I went there on my own last week again since I was dying to try their dessert. The last time I went there with Helen the neighboring table had the most luscious looking crisp that my mind screamed “I WANT!” so I had to go back. I didn’t have reservations during that time and I’m eating alone, I don’t mind eating at the bar.
I ordered the pork cutlet since the waiter described this dish different from any other restaurant because it has scrambled eggs with it. Unusual as it sounded, I ordered it for the sake of curiosity. It tasted very good. The thin, breaded, fried pork cutlet was slightly crisp and very tender. The tomato sauce lightened the dish by bringing the tart, bright acidic flavors of the tomato. The scrambled eggs with what seems like romaine lettuce and chunks of potato work well, despite the fact it’s a bit too wet due to the greens. Not bad but I like the burger more.
I finally got what I came here for DESSERT. I kind of wished I wasn’t eating alone so I could have split desserts and get to taste more since I was indecisive between two or three desserts. But I made the decision of sticking with what I wanted in the first place, the crisp.
The good thing is that the kitchen was flexible with the gelato (it’s from il laboratorio del gelato) flavor you want to top the crisp with, which I chose pistachio, since they ran out of vanilla. Eating the pistachio gelato alone, it tasted very good and buttery which is the essence of pistachio, but I wasn’t too thrilled with the slightly gritty texture of the nut. As a whole, the crisp was delicious. I loved the sweet and tart flavors of the strawberry and rhubarb with the butteriness of the topping. Just don’t let it sit out too long (like I have with taking a ton of photos of it) before the topping gets a bit mushy from the filling’s moisture content.
I was full and I had to go back to work so I asked for my check. Again, it’s presented with a paperback but it’s about Frank Sinatra. I really like this idea.
90 Bedford Street
New York, NY 10014