"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Calamari Competition: Lugo Caffe vs. Andy's Homemade

I first fell in love with calamari in 2006 when I began waitressing at an Italian restaurant in the West Village and we would constantly serve baskets of warm calamari with lemon and marinara sauce. My good friend, Andy, is also a huge calamari fan and has a favorite place to go for the city's best. It's called Lugo Caffe. Earlier in the week, Andy made his own calamari which was delicious and flavorful. The batter wasn't sticking as well because it was difficult to get the oil as hot enough. He fried the calamari in oil with garlic pieces and parsley, definitely a great addition. I really enjoyed the fleshiness of Andy's calamari and I actually prefer less batter. Here is a picture of his calamari on the rack as it is drying:
A couple days later, I met Andy for an dinner at Lugo Caffe. This restaurant is unassumingly delicious and nice. It is awkwardly located right by Penn Station so you would never think to hang around there for such a great meal. The restaurant is nice and airy, the service is excellent and the food is great! We ordered a few different items to share but the main thing was the calamari (pictured above). This was definitely delicious calamari with a proper appreciation for the batter. I can't say that it was better than Andy's because it was a different type of calamari all together. They were both really delicious but since most of you will not be going to Andy's for calamari, go to Lugo Caffe for a comparable substitute. In addition to our calamari we ordered a delicious robiola pizza. It was essentially flatbread with truffle oil, sea salt and preserved truffles. It was delicious. We also ordered three sides of cooked vegetables: brussle sprouts, portabella mushrooms and eggplant. Here is a photo of all the delicious food. The pizza is on top :)

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