It is a bit square to go to Union Square Cafe.  It’s been around for years and I guess it’s  now a “bridge and tunnel” crowd kind of place to go.  I’m even more uncool than the visitors from Jersey, flying in all the way from Chicago.  And even though I read the Dining section of the New York Times religiously, I go back to the old standbys when I have to make a reservation. Actually, I have only eaten there once before – and at the bar (!) – because it’s so popular.  This time I got a reservation easily, got the time I wanted and got shown to the table after a few minutes.  There’s definitely a recession.  Everything in New York seemed more subdued.

The food was either simple and easy to make at home, like the Cara Cara ornage and fennel salad, or simple but time-consuming, like the ravioli of wild greens.  Both were delicious and I am going to try to make the first dish tonight and hope that it really is simple.  We had the Château Deyrem Valentin (1999).  I rarely have the patience to wait ten years to drink a bottle of wine.  I might have more self-control from now on because I saw the benefits of bottle aging.  Smooth, subtle tannins; no oak; a lingering, long finish.  Old World wine.