Penelope and I went to D’Carlo, out on the county line near Alexander the other night and I would have rather had canned macaroni and cheese. Penelope ate her food, but I took a bite of mine and just sent it back. My “carbonara” was a big pile of noodles with some sauce poured on top of limp bacon and some sort of dairy. When challenged about it, he said “well that’s how we do it in my hometown of Sicily.” Thankfully, the “only way [he] could feel good about his customer service was to not charge me for it.” I have literally never sent a dish back at a restaurant before, at least not without giving them the opportunity to fix it.
The next night, we go to Olive Garden, having given up on the indie Italian scene. I am smart enough to ask at this point, and no, they do the same thing: pre-cooked sauce plopped on noodles. And the waitress had been programmed to say “pancetta bacon” every time she mentioned it, which I thought was kind of cute.
So tonight!! I feasted! Browned some pancetta in a pan, tossed in garlic and shallot, cooked pasta, stirred it all together with some grated Pecorino cheese and a couple of eggs. Looks like hell, tasted like heaven.