>Osteria al Doge


Our last night in New York coincided with my mother-in-law’s birthday. To celebrate, we were going to go to dinner and a show. The show was going to be Jersey Boys. For dinner, we wanted something relatively close to the theater. But it had to be nice, and I wanted to avoid anything too tourist trap-y. I selected Osteria al Doge.

At first, I was a little concerned about the place. The maitre d’s station is placed literally against the front door. And the area of the coat check is literally within an arm’s reach. But, my concerns were quickly allayed.
We were quickly seated at a table with ample space. The room was dim but warmly lit. The ambience was inviting. Our waitress at this Venetian restaurant had what I think was a slight Eastern European accent. The Central American men who filled out water glasses did so in a silent and compulsive manner that was much appreciated, as I think we were all pretty much dehydrated by that point.
We started out with a bottle of Prosecco. I figured that something Italian was appropriate, as we were in an Italian restaurant. And since it was my mother-in-law’s birthday, why not have something with bubbles? 
To go with our prosecco, I ordered some bruschetta. Our waitress was helpful enough to let me know that the bruschetta only came with three pieces. So, we got two orders. When it came out, it was overflowing with chopped tomato on warm and toasty bread. It was wonderfully oily and full of basil. 
The bread that they gave us at the table was nice too. There were three kinds, a soft italian bread, a crusty bread, and a foccacia. It was hard not to fill up before our main courses came.
My father-in-law had ordered a pork chop. It was slathered in a creamy mustard sauce and served with a vegetable I can’t remember. The only thing that sticks out in my memory is that it was the thickest pork chop I had ever seen. It was quite magnificent. He talked about it even into the next day. 
My mother-in-law had a salmon ravioli. She usually chooses a seafood option whenever I go out to eat with her. 
Sarah had chosen a braised lamb shank for her meal. For this, I was proud of her. It came with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. She was only able to eat about half of it. I ate the rest. It was good and filled with lambiness. I wish I could have taken the bone home for my dog.
For my dinner, I chose the mezzaluna filled with goat cheese and eggplant. The sauce was a tomato cream sauce. It was a little too sweet for me and reminded me of chef boyardee. But tomato cream sauce always reminds me of canned kid’s food. Fortunately, the filling was delicious. The egglant was full-bodied and served as a nice counterpart to the goat cheese. It really rounded out the dish to make the flavors mellow in a good way. I ate about half of it and gave the rest to Sarah, who I knew would appreciate it more than I did.
Overall, the meal was exactly what I was hoping for. I have never been to Venice and don’t really know what Venetian food actually is, but what everyone liked what they had to eat. It was a great place to have dinner before a Broadway show. And it was a great meal finale for our trip to New York.

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