1. At Il Bambino in Astoria http://ilbambinonyc.com/index.html
    (34-08 31st Ave), there are many fancy delights. In my experience, none are so perfect as the simple fontina panini. It has epitomized for me the childhood staple, grilled-cheese-sandwich: fontina combines with mozzarella, pecorino, and truffle oil inside of delicate, buttery crispy-light bread. It’s crunchy on the outside, melty-gooey and somewhat funky on the inside (due to the high-quality cheese and the truffle oil). Pair it with one of the restaurant’s many tasty beverages, and I’m a happy child of a Friday night. If by some stroke of fortune you should wind up in Queens, wend your way to Il Bambino (and call me, please).

  2. Place: Il Mulino

    Location/Details: 86 West 3rd St., Manhattan http://www.ilmulino.com

    Dish: Mushroom Ravioli with Cream, Truffles, and Champagne

    My husband and I own a business, so by default, we’ve eaten at several high-end restaurants with clients. That has given us a lot of good dinners to compare—but out of anything we’ve eaten at ANY restaurant, ANYWHERE, last night we had what might be the best dish either of us has ever tasted. The mushroom ravioli with cream, truffles, and champagne at Il Mulino was UN-F*CKING BELIEVABLE!!!!! It was the richest, smoothest, most delicious flavor/texture I’ve ever put into my mouth. Intensely mushroomy, almost like a mushroom reduction. You could put that sauce on the bottom of a tractor tire and it would still taste AMAZING.

    Note: This dish was on their “specials” list and is not a regular part of the menu, but if you’re lucky enough to visit Il Mulino when they are serving this, MAKE THIS YOUR DISH!!

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