Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

Adrienne Zaza is no longer a New Yorker, posted November 11, 2007 at 09:47 PM


Well, Adrienne moved. And I didn't kill her. It was close though.

What a great last week we had--eating and drinking at our favorite old places (and some new ones too) and just hanging out. As posted below, we started just over a week ago at Florent. We continued on Sunday with dinner at Adrienne's. But it wasn't just any old dinner--it was a feast of homemade perogis.


When I arrived Adge had already made the dough and boiled the potatoes. I was put on mashing duty, which I did with flair, if I may say so myself. I mixed the cheese in thoroughly! Then she started rolling and cutting out the dough, and together we stuffed those little pockets. When we were done--and it took a long time--we had about 100 delicious-looking perogis. Dare I admit that I think we ate about 50 of them that very night? I know, but they were so freakin' delicious, with butter and sauteed onions and a bit of sour cream on the side. Oh my my my. So delicious. We both agreed that Julia, Adrienne's grandmother, was smiling down on us. (She was also probably shaking her head in disbelief as we drank the day away--one cocktail each, a bottle of red wine, and two bottles of prosecco! Eek). And if that wasn't enough, Adrienne also made homemade creme brulee for dessert! I had bought her the ramekins and torch for her graduation this past summer. It was sooooo good!!

More perogi pictures here

The next night, Monday, We had dinner at Frank. Yes, more pasta. This is a place we've been going to since Adrienne was first visiting me here long ago. Their ragu is the closest we've found to our families' recipes, and it's always warm and lively squeezed in their little dining room. We started with burrata, then Adge had the rigatoni al' ragu, and I had orata cooked in tomato, capers, and olives. Yum.

Outside Frank

From there we headed out for cocktails at Death & Co. over on 6th Street. We got a nice booth at the back and had absolutely delicious drinks. Adrienne's was something with rum and ginger beer and pineapple juice, I think. I had the "Bushwick" which is a kind of modified manhattan--it had marschino liqueur in it (which worried me until I tried it). It was light and strong at once. Yum.

The next night, Tuesday, was Landmarc day because--go figure--it's our favorite pasta day of the week there! Tuesdays are made for Marc's spaghetti carbonara--one of his signature dishes, which did not disappoint Adrienne in the slightest. I actually had a steak instead--I went for the ribeye (I usually get the hangar) but my lord this was a huge steak. I could not finish it, which is not usually the case with me. I started with snails, Adrienne had a salad, and we drank cocktails followed by a bottle of pink champagne. It was terrific.

A couple more Landmarc shots here

Wednesday I gave Adrienne the night off to see some of her other friends. I know, my generosity is only exceeded by my good looks! But even though we didn't see each other Wednesday it was still part of the big Zazaurafest celebration--Look what arrived at my office for me:


What a great cousin I have. Her little note of cousinly appreciation made me (and some of my office staff) cry when I read it. But alas, more--and harder--crying was to yet come.

Thursday, Adrienne revived her role as Special Guest Starô at my weekly breakfast with Mark Fox. She met us at 8.15am for a last taste of Balthazar. Yes, she got a doughnut.

The warm yellow lighting of Balthazar

And then Friday was the going-away party. [Pix here]. Adrienne went for happy-hour drinks with her colleagues, then moved the party up to B-Bar on the Bowery. Lots of visits, lots of drinks, a little bit of tears, a couple cards, and pretty soon it was 1.30am and time for everyone's favorite East Village midnight snack: Crif Dogs! You gotta love New York. Where else can you get a deep-fried bacon-wrapped, cheese-covered hot dog in the middle of the night?! Ok, let me rephrase that question: Where else can you get two-and-a-half deep-friend, bacon-wrapped, cheese-covered hot dogs in the middle of the night each?! Yeah, we're pigs. Pigs in shit heaven, though!

Then next thing you know my alarm is going off and it's time to head to Brooklyn to squeeze one last meal in--breakfast at Teresa's. We just looked at each other with sad faces, mostly. Then we went back to Adrienne's place, repacked her carry-on luggage, and said goodbye. It's heartbreaking to have someone you're close to move away. I've been lucky a few times to have close friends move to New York at various times in my life (God bless you, Mark Fox and Carter!). But more often I've had close friends moving away from here. This time is one of the harder ones, since Adge and I spent a fair amount of time together. And family is family--it's a comfort to hang out just to watch a movie together and feel that deep connection that you only really get when you're around people who've known you so long and so deeply.

Anyway, Adge got in her cab to the airpoint, and I got onto the subway, came home, and tracked her flight online. Just as it said she arrived, she sent me a text message saying the same thing. So funny. Good luck, Cuz. I know you don't need it, because you always make your own luck. I'll be down to Florida to visit in the late winter.

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