The last time I visited Cesca I was celebrating my 21st birthday. At the time, it was a trendy new Italian restaurant that was getting a lot of hype among food-lovers and was the perfect choice to celebrate my coming of age.
When I moved back to the Upper West Side a few years ago, I was pleased to see that Cesca was still there, nestled on West 75th Street in an elegant pre-war building.
I found that, eight years later, Cesca is still popular as ever.On a recent Tuesday evening excursion the place was packed. Lucky for us, we had a reservation. We sat in the back at a big banquette and scoured the menu, which is full of Italian dishes spiced with a contemporary flair.
For appetizers we tried the sauteed clams (pretty bland) and prosciutto croquettes that were salty bites of crispy goodness (must have).
For entrees, we loved the Tagliatelle Verde Alla Bolognese, a generous portion of homemade spinach fettucini mixed with lamb and veal ragu. We also enjoyed the Mushroom Garganelli, al dente tubes of pasta served with sauteed and fragrant mushrooms topped with fresh Parmesan that created a light cream sauce when stirred together. The Seared Scallops are also a winner. I still remember the scallops I had on my 21st birthday and these are just as good.
Cesca is not an every night indulgence. You can order half portion pastas (about $16), but go big and get the entree order (about $24), it's worth it. Sip a big goblet of Italian red with your pasta and you're golden.
Smoothies are a great way to fill up on vegetables and get nutrients for your day. This particular smoothie is a great way to not only get your greens and fruit, but a protein fix that will leave you satiated during the morning. Recently, I decided to try out protein powder to find out what the buzz is all about. While perusing the supplement section in Whole Foods, I found myself a little overwhelmed by the types of powders: whey, soy, hemp, etc. I went with a basic 365 brand natural vanilla whey protein, which added sweetness to my smoothie and also left me very full throughout the morning. Since I'm relatively new to the protein powder I'd love to hear about the supplements you swear by. Share with me on Twitter @LesFoodites.
Green Power Kick
1 cup of almond milk
2 leaves of swiss chard
2 pitted dates
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon of protein powder
2-3 ice cubes (optional)
Place ingredients in blender. Blend to desired consistency.