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“Aroma Kitchen and Winebar”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Italian East Village Moderate Good


Sometimes I come upon a restaurant and one thing or another about it says to me, "Andrea. You should check this place out." Has that ever happened to you? You walk by a place and you just get this feeling that it'll be good, maybe even more than good, maybe a keeper? Maybe after a few months of wandering past, you slow down and take a look at the menu. As you read, your heart, mind and stomach all respond-Caeser salad with Sicilian anchovies, poached egg and Parmigiano-Reggiano; gratin of gnocchi, sausage, fontina and béchamel, meatballs in tomato ragu with smoked treccione; braised veal shoulder with ricotta cavatelli. The menu intrigues you so you linger a little longer. You press your face against the glass façade and peer inside. You spy a slim, brick-faced room lined with raw beamed shelves holding bottles of wine, and high ceilings hung with twinkling antique crystal chandeliers. Heavy wooden tables pressed tightly together host diners glowing with wine-flushed cheeks. You make a mental note to come back for dinner. And then, as the case usually is, by the next morning, your mental note has disappeared, pushed back into the dark recesses of your mind behind a few hundred other new mental notes.


That's how things went for me and Aroma Kitchen and Winebar. I'd walk by once a week and think, "Wow this place looks so cute." I'd check out the menu, peer inside, and promise to return for dinner. And then I never did anything about it.


The whole experience actually reminded me of how I met Craig. Late this Spring, I had noticed him at my neighborhood coffee shop. Like me, he was there early in the mornings with his laptop, plugged in and writing. (And unlike me, he looks really cute in the mornings. It takes days for me to get presentable.) Every morning, I'd notice him, but I didn't dare do anything about it, like actually strike up a conversation (how desperate would that be?). I just made a mental note that there was a cute guy in the coffee shop and started wearing lip-gloss in the mornings. This mental note stayed with me for about a month until my friend Adrienne (aka broken arms girl) joined me one morning for coffee. There he was, predictably, writing on his laptop, drinking a small black coffee, not even casting a glance in my direction.


"Adrienne, I have a crush on that guy over there," I told her ... [more, click below]

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