March 10, 2005 2:36 AM | By Adam Roberts | 14 Comments

A Brotherly Bleecker Street Night: Home, Rocco's and Film Forum

I love Bleecker Street nights.

Let me explain.

When a friend, loved one or acquaintance asks me: "Where should we go for I dinner?" I frequently reply: "Let's just go down to Bleecker street and find something."

I say that because there are SO many options on Bleecker Street and in that area. I'm talking, basically, about Greenwich Village---I love eating in the Village. I'm constantly stumbling upon new places and loving them. There are many treats to be had on Bleecker street--the cashew bar at Amy's bread, the pizza at Joe's or John's. Bleecker Street is my favorite food street in New York.

So tonight with my brother, who is here visiting (my parents may follow tomorrow depending on whether my dad beats his cold), I took him down to Bleecker and we strolled in the cold cold cold. (I've been triplifying my prose, lately, I'm not sure why why why).

"Which place do you like, Michael?" I asked.

"I want Chinese," he replied.

"Ummm," I said, "There's no real Chinese around here. But pick one of these places."

We looked at Po.

"This is owned by Mario Batali," I said, "It was his first restaurant. It's supposed to be great."

He studied the menu on the outside. "Quail? Sweetbreads? No thanks."

We were on Cornelia St. (my favorite side street off Bleecker) and after wandering past a few more places, we discovered Home:


"Look, Michael," I said gleefully. "It's Home! It's like we're eating at home! Let's eat here!"

With a grumble, he ok-ed it.

Here is Michael:


He's sitting in Home. Our waitress came over and said: "Let me tell you about the specials..." It was weirdly done because usually you say: "Hi, how are you tonight?" Or something on that order. She just jumped right into the specials.

But that's ok, we'll forgive her. The food was great. We shared a fried cornmeal coated oyster appetizer:


Michael ate his half bravely and seemed to enjoy it. I enjoyed mine.

Then, for my entree, I had the duck which had great accoutrements (quince sauce and a butternut squash side) but the duck itself was a little fatty:


Michael had the roasted chicken with garlicky greens, onion rings and homemade ketchup:


I thought his looked fannntastic and I confirmed that by eating some. It was. Even Michael thought so: "I don't normally like American food," he said, "but this is really good."

So that was us at Home.

But the fun doesn't stop there. We were on our way to Film Forum for a festival of Westerns, but first we stopped into Rocco's pastry shop for some cannoli. Look at this display case!


How can you NOT love Bleecker Street?

I'd like to say Michael and I shared this cannoli, but please forgive us and our gluttony when I say we each had our own:


I don't think I even need to tell you how good this was.

After that, it was a brisk walk down 6th Avenue to Houston where a big line already formed at Film Forum. We bought our tickets and went in to see Jimmy Stewart and Janet Leigh in The Naked Spur which was terrific. I took this picture going in:


I think it's my most artistic shot yet. Maybe because I was so inspired by our night on Bleecker Street?

I'm telling you--those Bleecker Street nights. They're the best.


Wow! I ate at Home seven years ago with my Great Aunt who lives in the City--I was there over spring break and all the indoor tables were reserved, so we ate on the patio and were awarded Polar Bear Club membership--complete with a button.

I still have my button somewhere in storage back in Indiana.

Hmmm... I love Home. I like to sit outside on the patio in the fall or early spring. The weather is still a little nippy, but not too cold. They turn on the shielded heaters for you, and you sit with friends. I've never had a bad meal there. It's just such a cozy little place.

Anyone who says they don't like American food needs to take a look at what they consider American to be. Home is an excellent example of American Regional cooking as is Lark Creek Inn here on the West Coast.

It's true that American food can trace its roots to overseas cousins often in a direct way, more readily than say European countries but in most cases it has been adapted to the ingredients found in this very bountiful land.

It also tends to be less codified than other again European cuisines and more open to experimentation (note: I'm not speaking about Spain and the molecular gastronomists).

Funny to hear Bleeker street being a good food street. When I lived in NY Bleeker Street was good for record stores, CBGB's and the Bleeker Street cinema but not for food.

I love your food blog, and I made my mom list it in her directory website of handpicked links to the best foods/ingrediants/ foodblogs etc at :)

keep up the great work!

Cornelia Street? What a great place! I was there last autumn and just loved this street and the wonderful neighbourhood all around it. I didn't get to Home but had a great meal at the Cornelia Street Cafe. Have you, Adam, (or any of your readers) tried that one? Apart from the great resaurant upstairs, it has the added advantage of a very atmospheric and effective performance space in the cellar where great jazz can be heard.
Also, I ate at Bouchon Bistro nearby (at 41 Greenwich St), which I thought to be pretty good. Worth a detour, as they say.

The West Village is a great place for food! I like Le Cafe Figaro, and Yagatan has pretty good falafel. My fav food street, however, is St. Mark's Place. Cafe Orlin is my fav New York restaurant (they have the best veggie burger I've ever tasted...everything on the menu is good!), Zen Cafe has half off sushi, Yakitori Taisho has delicious chicken meatballs, The Crooked Tree has good crepes with chestnut filling, Jenny's Cafe has a phenomenal mango and taro tapioca pearl smoothie (Saint's Alp has nothing on them!), and Nino's has one of the best slices in NY. I really liked St. Mark's Pizza, but they were replaced by Chickpea. :-( Also, Jas Mart has good stuff, although it's pricey. I hear Crif's Dogs and Yaffa Cafe are good, but I haven't eaten there. I also want to try Australian Homemade and Khyber Pass! SO many ethnic restaurants on St. Mark's.

I think Home is a hit or miss type of place. The first time I went there (Summer '03) I really enjoyed a Chipotle gazpacho followed by homemade pasta in a light sauce, but I just went to Home this past Feb., and I wasn't thrilled. I had the chicken with greens and onion rings too and I felt like it was all extremely heavy and there was an epic battle between flavors (some barely existant and disapointing and some overwhelming). The great part though is the homemade chocolate chip cookies in lieu of mints.

It's Bleecker, with a "c." (Just helping you build up your credentials as an authentic New Yorker.)

Snap, Adam. You got served.

Nice pic Adam, you are a regular Jimmy Felder.

If you're in the Bleecker Street environs, you *must* go to Five Points (on Great Jones-aka 3rd Street- between Bowery & Lafayette). A-mazing. Go for Sunday brunch. Show up exactly at 11.30, or else make a reservation and wait until 3pm. Order the custard-y baked brioche french toast. It's like you died and went to bread pudding heaven. Oh yeah, and everything else is really tasty, too. Mmmm. Can't wait to go back!

Adam...I was shocked to realize today that my day job's firewall is now letting me get to your site. Why was it blocked before when no other blogs are?

Good question...but let's not focus on that.

I actually know the owners of Home...did you have any wine when you were there. They also own a vineyard out here on Long Island...still pretty new, but the wines are fun and their consultant winemaker is an emerging start out here.

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