Sometimes the simplest thing on the menu is the most intriguing.
My wife and I celebrated our fifth anniversary at Manzo recently. It was our first time at Eataly and we drove ourselves into a ravenous state walking around the market for 30 minutes before our meal. The menu – a fantastic menu for me – swirled before my eyes as every choice seemed better than the one next to it.
I skimmed right past something called ‘tajarin al sugo d’arrosto.’ It was a pasta, though beyond that I had no idea, and I was busy reading menu items which contained words I understood. I got to the end and started to think about my order when I noticed that the last page of the menu contained a glossary of terms.
Tajarin al sugo d’arrosto is a simple dish, ribbons of egg-flour pasta in a light sauce made from the juices of the roast meats. Manzo being a meat place, they have a lot of that juice to go around.
It occurred to me that I rarely order something with such a bare menu description. But the idea of it wormed into my brain and I couldn’t shake it. I asked the waiter to give me his take, ala Alex Belth, and he was a brilliant salesman. He gave me the Indiana Jones “you’ve-chosen-wisely” vibe which made me proud for an instant before I realized I was such an easy mark.
We ordered a lot of incredible dishes, but a week later, I’m still thinking about the tajarin. Still wishing there was one more chunk of bread to wipe in the sauce.
Here’s an attempt to reverse-engineer the recipe, though they have used a different pasta from the one I’m pining for.