I find myself being drawn to low-key birthday celebrations more and more every year. All I wanted this year was to have a very good pasta dinner with my boyfriend and his niece who's visiting from Copenhagen. I chose Angelini Osteria because of their specialty dish–linguine with Santa Barbara sea urchin, a favorite of mine–and also because it's small, family-owned, and anti-trendy.
Everything we ordered was fantastic and reminded me so much of the osterias I dined at when I traveled to Italy years ago. During my first visit to Milan, I remember that a friend recommended we meet for dinner at "one of the best restaurants in the city". Like a typical New Yorker, I dressed to the nines, thinking it would be a glitzy and glamorous place. Instead, I found myself at a discreet restaurant in an alleyway where I stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the locals who were quietly dining in their cashmere sweaters and loafers.
It's been some time since I've gotten dressed up like I used to. This past Thursday night, I wore an oversized black cashmere sweater (a birthday gift from my beloved earlier in the day), black leather pants, and simple black suede strappy sandals. I find that there's a certain elegance to feeling comfortable.
We all shared the linguine with sea urchin–which appeared as a special on the menu, the lasagna, and the bombolotti all'amatriciana. I forewent wine for water the entire evening. For dessert, there was a hefty serving of tiramisu with a candle on top. The waiters sang "Happy Birthday" to me in their charming Italian accent. By the time I blew out the candle, my birthday wish had already come true.