If You Were Here, You’d Be Home: iCi

I couldn’t describe properly the odd but lovely airiness to the step-down, slightly subterranean dining room, or how it felt simultaneously elegant but comfortable, like I’d eaten there a thousand times before.

icishotLast year, I was working in-house writing shelf talkers and e-mail blasts for Gnarly Vines in Fort Greene, and one of the best parts of my job was helping to put together wine dinners, where Gnarly would team up with a local eatery, we’d bring the wine, and I’d write something flowery and attractive to make people come.

But with iCi, it was wasted words. I couldn’t describe properly the odd but lovely airiness to the step-down, slightly subterranean dining room, or how it felt simultaneously elegant but comfortable, like I’d eaten there a thousand times before. Or like, maybe, it was actually mine (or, you know, the thing I would dream up to be mine — which is funny because the word translates from French to mean “here.”). The food was intensely fresh, vibrating with flavor and adorned just enough to coax out the best of each part. I seem to remember I wound up staying a lot later than I thought I would.

I was really excited to see they were part of Edible’s recent Eat-Drink-Local Week.  If you haven’t been, it was a really great opportunity to, well, feel what I felt and taste what I tasted, which was so memorable that a year later I can still tell you about it like I was there last night. A phantom dinner I keep eating over and over again.

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Amy Zavatto is the daughter of an old school Italian butcher who used to sell bay scallops alongside steaks, and is also the former Deputy Editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She holds her Level III Certification in Wine and Spirits from the WSET, and contributes to Imbibe, Whisky Advocate, SOMMJournal, Liquor.com, and others. She is the author of Forager's Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients and The Architecture of the Cocktail. She's stomped around vineyards from the Finger Lakes to the Loire Valley and toured distilleries everywhere from Kentucky to Jalisco to the Highlands of Scotland. When not doing all those other things, Amy is the Director of the Long Island Merlot Alliance.