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Restaurants & Bars 2

East Post

Pan | Jun 30, 2001 02:51 AM

I had the highly disagreeable experience of being bumped from my flight to South Carolina on Continental today so, upon returning rather late at night from Newark Airport, I made virtue of necessity and went to East Post for the first time. My impression was positive and, since I'm in the neighborhood, I plan on going back.

To begin with, the bread was a little too hard to chew (maybe because I was there at around 11:30 P.M.?), but the spread on the table was spicy and quite good. I had the pasta e fagiole as an appetizer. It was pretty big. It didn't taste quite like the pasta e fagiole I knew and loved in Siena: I was not disturbed by the absence of ham or bacon, but there was a certain non-tomato sweet taste that took some getting used to. Also, it tasted like they used celery greens instead of parsley, or their parsley may have been a bit old (you know that edge that comes with age?). Still, I liked it, maybe partly because I was pretty hungry.

Not having had enough pasta (:-), I ordered a dish that seemed interesting to me and was recommended by my waiter: A Sicilian dish of rotelli with eggplant, tomatoes, fresh basil, and ricotta salata. Was it great and incredible? No. But it was fresh and hearty, a good facsimile of rustic Italian food. Actually, it was way bigger than it would have been in a restaurant in Italy, and I was unable to finish it all. The bill came to $16 and change before tip.

I doubt it would make sense to make an excursion for food of this quality, but for those in the neighborhood, it is worth checking out the place, especially if you're not going during peak hours, when there are sometimes lines.

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