A hint of cool in the air washed over me as I gulped down an entire glass of water. My skin was still sticky from the 89-degree day. From my sidewalk table, I looked across Hudson Street to the iconic White Horse Tavern, whose patio was brimming with those celebrating summer's early arrival. I thought about how it's funny that even though growing up in the West Village I'd walked past it hundreds of times, I'd never been there.
"Wine?" A tablemate asked. Yeses all around. As he took the initiative to pick something, I excused myself to use the bathroom inside.
Boom. It was like walking into a club when your favorite song is on. There was warmth, and there was buzz. Salads were being shared, pastas were being savored, servers were topping off glasses of wine. As I made my way through the restaurant, I took a deep breath. I felt relief. And I felt joy.
Just an hour earlier I was burnt out on Randall's Island after 10 hours of working the Frieze Art Fair.
It had been the invitation-only Preview Day, which means the tent was jam-packed with high-end collectors, gallerists, art advisors, and the like. There were over-the-top outfits and a lot of Chanel. Oh, and the AC was broken, so everyone was sweating through their clothes and fanning themselves with branded maps.
When it was over, I could've given up the day; surrendered to exhaustion. But my coworker-friend insisted that we go for dinner. Naturally, I concurred.
When I returned to the table, a cold bottle of Chenin blanc was going around. Menus were being considered. I wanted Prosciutto (always) and citrus salad. Someone else was thinking antipasti, and another wanted the sweet carrot agnolotti. Sooner than later there was all of that and more: refreshing, textured, and flavorful salads (shaved brussels sprouts with castelrosso cheese, spring greens with herbs and X.O. sauce, chicories with preserved lemon and sorano beans); satiating polenta with rabe gremolata and Parmigiano-Reggiano and tagliatelle with clams, mussels, and fennel; plus, roasted chicken and grilled octopus for good measure. I had a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and it was perfect.
We finished at nearly 11:00 pm, and I hadn't been home since 7:00 am. My Uber ride back to Brooklyn cost more than I'd like to admit, but it was worth it.
Frankies 570 Sputino
570 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014