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Love and anchovies
RESTAURANTS • FOUND Plate
In my early twenties, when I was cooking for one in the Boerum Hill walk-up I shared with my brother, I would often make this addictive, dead-simple pasta:
Heat olive oil and sliced garlic in a pan. Add anchovies. Once the anchovies have melted, add spaghetti and a little reserved pasta water. Try not to eat it all in one sitting.
The spaghetti anchoiade at Anton’s in the West Village is a very grown-up version of this dish — silky and rich, the spaghetti cooked exactly right. It’s on my shortest list of favorite NYC dishes, and is best shared with a friend or loved one.
Saturday night, my birthday, my wife and I ate it at the bar after a day spent driving to and from Port Jefferson for the memorial of an old friend who had died too young.
Anton’s opened in 2019 but feels like it’s been on the corner of Hudson and W. 11th forever. The space was once Frankies 570, and before that, Hudson Corner Cafe — a less ambitious neighborhood hang where my wife worked briefly as a waitress in her early twenties, newly arrived from Michigan. Not long after, the friend from Port Jefferson became her roommate. She’s the one who taught her how to be a New Yorker.
We considered other, more current options for dinner on our way back into the city that night. But we were tired and happily ended up on this perfect West Village corner, sharing this ethereal spaghetti that reminded us of walk-ups and waitress jobs and old friends. –Josh Albertson