Staten Island and Enoteca Maria

3 Nov

To commemorate our three-year anniversary, I surprised CityBoy with a trip out to Staten Island this July. We’d been talking about taking the Staten Island Ferry for months, which affords amazing views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty for free.

Ferry ride - woo hoo!

I don’t really understand how they do it, considering it costs me $2.50 to go anywhere via the MTA (which is still a colossal deal, don’t get me wrong), but it is fantastic.

Hi Lady Liberty!

And gorgeous.

And hello, Sky.

But the true highlight of the evening was our dinner at Enoteca Maria. Featured by the Wall Street Journal here, Joe Scaravella runs a fantastic little restaurant not far from the ferry terminal. Joe reminded me a lot of Frank Zappa, with his little soul patch and his rebel spirit, and he’s definitely a guy who enjoys good food.

The menu is a little overwhelming, with tons of daily appetizers and specials, and a huge variety of wines. But here’s what you do: ask Joe what to get. We were seated right at the bar, in this cozy corner (the restaurant stays busy all night long and can get loud), so we could pester him for his opinion. And boy, did he steer us right.

The menu changes every day, depending on which nonna is cooking, but the night we were there we had these amazing stuffed zucchini blossoms (which CityBoy had never had) and this mind-blowingly rich dish of oxtail:

Totally heart attack worthy

I can’t even tell you what our entree dishes were (I had some sort of pasta and CityBoy had rabbit) because I was so stupefied by the time they came.

You should make the trek because the views and the food are totally worth it. And if that doesn’t sway you, you get to pretend, coming back to The City under that glorious sky, to be Melanie Griffith in Working Girl:

Oh yeah!

Sing with me now: “Let the river run / Let all the dreamers / Wake the nation…” (Damn, I gotta find that on Netflix now.)

Rock on, people.

– Jho

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