UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
La Fantasia di Fragola for Two @ Locanda Verde (NYC)

Just got back from a long weekend in NYC. The trip killed me. I ran around all day, tried to see everyone, ate and drank myself into a tizzy, and literally collapsed in exhaustion.

It made me feel old.

That said, it really is an incredible city for eating. Like anywhere, there are some major misses, but the hits really make you forget about that flacid slice of pizza you had for lunch on some street corner in Chelsea.

I'll be posting the best dishes from the trip in this column, Just Kill Me Now. As in, as long as this is at my Last Supper, I'll be ready to dance with the Grim Reaper. Bring it.

And why couldn't I start my Last Supper with dessert? Had this mind-blowing ending (to a dazzling meal in general) at Locanda Verde. Behold the La Fantasia di Fragola, for two. Translation: Strawberry Fantasy. This sculptural centerpiece came towering in a huge silver goblet. It is for two, afterall.

Fior di latte gelato, strawberry-prosecco sorbet, triangular chips of balsamic meringue. Mouthmelting. The most delightful part laid on the very bottom-- chunks of sbrisolona, which is an Italian cake traditionally made of almond and cornmeal. Oh, and the tiniest and cutest little fragoline dotted the dish.

Our spoons dueled for the perfect balance of each scoop. We ate in silence. The bustle of the restaurant had long turned into an orchestral symphony.

Yes, just kill me now.

*Photo by Alda Ly.