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New York Home > Food > Blow Up

Published February 21, 2014

Blow Up
A Classic of an Italian-American Date Spot

The intoxicating aroma of seafood pasta and bread. Impossibly attractive and mysterious loners sipping fernet. Leopard (not leopard-skin) covered walls. Impeccably ironed red-checker tablecloths. All-encompassing cordovan-leather wraparound banquettes. Small shrines to Jimi Hendrix and Buddha.

Try to absorb all that.

And we’re absorbing, and...

Okay, ready...

Cancel all prior date plans and shift your romancing operations to Antonioni’s, a quintessential Italian-American corner date spot from the Café Gitane folks, now open on the LES.

As it happens to be Friday, we’re just going to assume you’ll be dining tonight with someone you hope will wear fewer and fewer amounts of clothing as the evening progresses. Consider this your stage-setter.

Real basic layout here. Bar on your right. Classic candle-lampshade situation on tables through the middle and to the left. You’ll begin on the right, conversing your way through cognac-bourbon-lemon-juice-amaretto-blood-orange-marmalade-and-bitters cocktails. (They call that mouthful a Grand Duel.)

Then, as if by magic, a table will open. And the name of the game will be lobster fettuccine and braciole with meatballs. Furtive glances will be directed. Passion will ignite. Lust will be felt.

And that’s the story of how you wake up next to a plate of leftover fettuccine.
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Photo: Oleg March

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