I have been missing Italy a lot these past few days. It’s the holiday season, Sant’Ambrogio, the beginning of le citta’ adorned with Christmas lights and of course missing my friends. What I always miss is the ease of eating a good meal at lunch without paying a fortune. When I worked in Italy, you could go out for a relatively quick bite to eat and have something healthy as well as enjoyable while sitting down and chatting with a friend.
I am happy to report that the same is now true near my office in New York City. Alta Cucina is open for lunch from 12:00 – 2:30 pm, Monday through Friday. This lovely little Italian outpost is in an interesting area with a dearth of good lunch options, East 38th Street right off of Madison Avenue.
Alta Cucina, which is also open for breakfast Italian style – coffee and pastries – from 700am on, has been a resource for me in many ways since I moved back to New York and they opened their doors. Alta Cucina sells Italian specialty products and also holds cooking classes. I started my Italian indigenous grape variety series for their website and then moved it to this blog.
I don’t like to eat a heavy meal at lunch nor to spend a lot of money midday unless I am doing something festive. Alta Cucina has salads, soups, pasta and pannini at very reasonable prices which is also a joy. I ate there today and had lentil soup and a salad for a modest sum and felt like I had spent lunchtime in an Italian local. While nothing beats going to Italy, I am happy when I can find a touch of il Bel’ Paese here in New York City.