SDSC FEBRUARY: A TRIP TO NORTH ITALIA

i realize that we are drawing the curtain on just the second month of the new year, but i already love how out of all the evenings and meals spent in the company of friends, one night always stands out from the rest.

february’s SDSC was held at north italia, an ‘italian farmhouse’ located in the new shopping + dining mecca called the point. all three members arrived from different parts of town and monday work schedules to meet on this wonderfully warm, “winter” night for an italian feast.

walking towards the restaurant’s exterior, my first reaction was that of being welcomed by open arms into a breathable, spaciousness throughout. a nice respite from the often too crowded, must-awkwardly-shimmy-between-four-tables-to-get-to-my-own dining establishments that we have to endure in manhattan and hermosa. the thoughtful design and architectural elements brought me back to my (recent) days touring and writing about million dollar homes all over los angeles. a vintage, high-wheel bicycle suspended from the wall. an elongated bar that’s accessible from both sides, creating a beautiful transparency between indoor and outdoor. a black-and-white photograph depicting a company of men on vespas which, considering my solo trip through italy last fall, pulled decidedly on my heartstrings.

men-on-scooters

we settled into a bottle of malbec and raised our glasses to our honorable guest, a veterinarian from culver city. questions and anecdotes of the pet variety surely followed, but so did our growing appetites (don’t expect a complimentary bread basket here, folks). we decided to approach the meal family-style and select a couple of apps, pastas, and pies to all share. our waitress was quite lovely as she proceeded to recommend that we try the short rib radiaton (the meat of which really did melt in our mouths) and the prosciutto pizza, also a savory choice.

had i not learned to lust over the dark pigment of a squid ink pasta during my travels on the amalfi coast, i probably wouldn’t have hinted so strongly in favor of ordering the squid ink mafaldine that eveningalas, the maritime dish was deemed a little too exotic for the table. instead, we opted for a more traditional bolognese, which neither disappointed nor knocked my sunglasses off. unfortunately, we thought that the crisp calamari resembled and tasted more like carnival funnel cakes than delicious, lightly-fried fish. one of the employees insisted that the item be lifted from our bill—smart move, management.

after ordering a second bottle of vino, we realized that no one was going to make it back in time for the latest episode of the bachelor. not that i follow the show, but one of our members hosts a viewing party to watch the contestant’s emotions unravel each week. all the more reason to indulge in bombohni (little italian donuts) drizzled in meyer lemon curd to cap off the night.

next month’s SDSC is already set in motion and i look forward to meeting another friend of a friend over a dripping-with-aioli burger, soak-up-my-hawaiian-bun pulled pork, or—actually, i’m not even sure what we’ll be sinking our teeth into.

if you’re planning a trip to north italia or just plain curious, here’s a cheat sheet of our favorite items on the menu:

roasted green vegetables // brussels sprout, romanesco, broccolini, marcona almond, grana padano, lemon avocado vinaigrette

prosciutto (pizza) // mission fig, goat cheese, arugula

short rib radiaton (pasta) // parmesan cream, fresh horseradish, wild arugula, herbed breadcrumb

bolognese (pasta) // traditional meat sauce, tagliatelle noodle & grana padano cheese

bombohni (dessert) // meyer lemon curd, vanilla mascarpone