Does anyone else out there love the movie “Harriet the Spy”? I must have seen it three times in theaters, and my mom made it the theme of my 7th birthday. My friends and I all got spy kits and notebooks and walked around my block to collect “clues.” I had so much fun watching Harriet run around, but my favorite line in from the movie is about food. When I watched it last night on TV I recited the following aloud, “I can’t help it if I know what I like, and I know that I like tomato,” as Harriet made her tomato sandwich.
I certainly don’t eat tomato sandwiches (although I definitely attempted them back in my Harriet-wannabe days), but I do know that I like tomato. Tomato is a key player in Spumoni Gardens’ famous square pizza. It’s super doughy, crunchy on the outside and overall the best thick pizza I’ve ever had:
But on Saturday night my family did not go to Spumoni Gardens for pizza, we came for my dad’s 50th birthday and that celebration required the Chef’s Table. This jumbo-sized meal includes table wine and soda, appetizers, salad, two kinds of pasta, two kinds of meat and, of course, a spumoni-topped dessert… I ate nothing but oatmeal the entire day to prepare for the meal.
My favorite part of the Chef’s Table is the beginning and end, or the appetizers and dessert. We had fried mozzarella topped with some lovely crushed tomato:
Crunchy and vinegary roasted artichokes:
Salty baked clams and a simple chopped salad dressed with olive oil and lemon:
Throughout the night the 19 of us were served three plates of everything and did a pretty decent job of clearing them. My Uncle Michael’s side of the table took the cake with the dessert plate, though. This platter is piled high with tartufo, spumoni, pumpkin ice cream, hazelnut ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate cake, berries and whipped cream. The spumoni is my absolute favorite part and all of the ice cream is made in-house. Before:
If the appetizers, dessert platter and all that came in between weren’t enough, my Uncle Michael and Aunt Arlene each took home a pie (it is really delicious pizza…):
After our four-and-a-half hour meal was over we still spotted people ordering pizza and eating it outside. If you’re ever in Brooklyn you should definitely stop in to grab a slice and a scoop of spumoni. If a feast is in order, lose the belt, put on your roomiest pants and go for the Chef’s Table.