Jame Enoteca / Van Leeuwen

Have had Jame on my list for a long time and finally made it there for lunch today. While well-executed, solid Italian that is far better than the typical neighborhood joint, I found myself much preferring my recent meal at Uovo.

The kiddos split the chicken parm and meatball sandwiches. Truth be told, if I could do it all over again, I’d probably have opted for one of those. My kids devoured the sandwiches and from the smells and looks, I bet they were great. That said, I was here for the pasta so stayed on course.

Wife and I started with the kale and almond salad. A bit overdressed for my taste and too sweet, but I did enjoy spicy touch along with the various textures throughout - shredded kale, avocado, parm, and almonds.

My wife got the capellini pomodoro, which I tried. At first glance, the sauce and plating reminded me of Scott Conant’s version at L’Impero, which has always set the standard for me. The sauce was delightful but the thinner noodle didn’t do it for me. Probably a personal preference as I feel the thinner noodles lack texture.

I had the paccheri rigati. The pasta was al dente, could see the slight bit of white in each bite, but otherwise lacked the chew that I loved about Uovo’s pastas. I have no idea what Italian pasta is “supposed to be” but I know for myself, I just love a noodle with that springiness that you more typically get in chinese hand-pulled noodles. The sauce itself was way over-salted and made the entire dish somewhat one note. I’m the type who sops up every last bit of sauce usually, but in this case, I left most of it given the salt level.

Overall, the meal was fine. I probably set an unrealistically high bar because I was so excited to finally make it there but I definitely prefer Uovo and will continue my search for other pasta joints!

**on the way home, we happened to see Van Leeuwen. I lived in NYC for a number of years and the original Van Leeuwen truck used to stop right outside my home in the UWS. Can’t deny that I had many a scoop in my day, but haven’t had it since at least 2011! We get to the window and wow, it’s almost $6.50 a scoop!!! Sucked it up though and got myself the marionberry cheesecake. As a huge Kansha fan, I’m beginning to love the more icy / milky ice cream base they use and so the Van Leeuwen base almost felt too creamy and rich. Still as good as I remember it, but more a preference thing for me now. But the marionberry cheesecake mixed in was fantastic… just a nice blend of slightly sweet, crumbly crust + tart / sweet marionberry swirl. Alas, at $6.50 a scoop, might be another 11 years before I go back (as my son joked…)


Last time I went to Salt N Straw it was ~$20 for 3 of us. I think this might be the going rate which is why I opt for supermarket ice cream most of the time.

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Makes Kansha feel like a damn bargain bc it is a sizable scoop at $4! Which still seems crazy to write. But yeah, $5+ starts to violate my fiscal sensibilities :slight_smile:

$12 a pint at Salt and Straw which really hurts, but I can’t get enough of the sea salt with caramel ribbons.