Written by Hulda Lawrence
The greatest city in the world attracts new foods and servitors to present a menu that may best be called Tapas from Tuscany so that New Yorkers can enjoy "tastes" from Tuscany. The boss, Cesare Casella, has set up his Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, 283 Amsterdam Avenue (212) 877-4800, as an important place. He arranged that all the food was presented on small plates to assuage the hunger of those dining inside where only 31 can be served at one time.
To begin with, each month a featured wine is selected for the delight of diners. Glasses and bottles are available. There are a number of Vini Spumante glasses and bottles with Vini Bianchi as well as Vini Rossi. The Assaggi della Cucina is ready for diners with such specialties as traditional Lasagna with pork and beef, ragu and béchamel sauces. There also are white anchovies marinated in extra virgin olive oil with radicchioin addition to gnocchi, tripe and several kinds of pastas and formaggi. A selection of three cheeses with accompaniments is $15. In addition to all of the above there is mortadella, speck, prosciutto and pancetta. Of the many pork products prices start at $4.
There also are assorted sweets, semifreddo and ricotta sold by the pound and "assaggi" or tasting portions.
New York City is the mecca for restaurants and one of the newest to open is Tom & Toon located at 241 West 51st Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues, (212) 226-4565. The food featured is both American and Thai. From its operators, Tom & Toon, we learned a good deal about the Asiatic cuisine. Toon has owned Thai restaurants all over town during the last 20 years.
Not only is this a new restaurant, but it also has an interesting decor with TV sets on walls around the room so that no matter when you are enjoying the exotic food, you're not missing any of your favorite programs.
Since Tom & Toon is located in the theatre district it also presents live entertainment every night of the week.
At lunch, served 12 noon until 4 p.m., there is a fabulous Thai/American (all you can eat) Luncheon Buffet for only $11.95. There are also ala carte dishes such as Sirloin & Black bean Chili, $9.50; Tom Kha Soup with coconut milk, $7.95; Lobster Summer Roll, $11.95; Grilled Chicken or Beef Sate, $8.50; and assorted Dumplings, $7.95. Among the burgers and sandwiches are Black Angus Bacon Cheeseburger, $13.95; Chesapeake Bay Crab Sandwich $13.95; Spicy Duck Wings, $9.95; Roast Beet Salad, $11.50; and Mango Papaya with Grilled Shrimp, $11.99.
Dinner is served from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. with about the same entrees but additional items such as Bourbon Braised Short Ribs, $25.95; Roasted Cornish Hen, $18.50; Double-thick Pork Chop, $21.95 and Frog Legs, $22.50.
Another popular entree, Pad Thai, is a melange of bean sprouts, chicken, onions, carrots, scallions and eggs.
There is also a Prix-Fixe Dinner served Tuesday through Sunday 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
There is plenty of beer in bottles and on tap. From the many cocktail selections we chose Lychee Mojito, a mix of Bacardi rum, Lychee Vodka, Cointreau, Pomegranate juice and Prosecco, $13. We chose Robert Mondavi Pinot Grigio and Merlot, Washington State, at $10 a glass.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday Noon to 10 p.m.
The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.