Hi friends, welcome back! Hope you all had a great holiday weekend! We are back from Nantucket, but before our trip we had the best time celebrating Jon’s birthday! Last year we celebrated his 30th birthday in quarantine, so we were extra excited to actually go out for dinner this year and have fun weekend plans to look forward to. To start the day, I got us his favorite coffee, a “New Orleans” from Blue Bottle Coffee.
Jon’s birthday fell on a Friday, so after he logged off for the day, we headed to Gelso & Grand for dinner in Little Italy. It was a beautiful sunny day with temps in the mid 70s, perfect dining weather. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor dining with moving glass windows that slide open so it’s almost like all outdoor, perfect for summer. The atmosphere here was very casual and lively. It’s the perfect place to catch up with friends, date night, or to bring friends from out of town.
To toast the birthday boy, I ordered the peach frosé (described as summer in a glass on the menu – enough said) and Jon chose a Moscow mule.
We started with the meatballs for our appetizer and they tasted delicious! They had a very delicate texture of mixed veal, beef, and pork paired with a sweet tomato sauce, grated parmesan, and fresh bread.
Jon and I decided to split pizza and pasta for our entrees to get the best of both worlds.
After our initial Yelp research, Jon and I knew we had to try the Pistachio Pesto Pasta. It seems like this is one of their most well-known and popular dishes. I was very excited to try this entree and it did not disappoint! The pasta had such a unique and delicious, creamy flavor paired with a bit of crunch from the toasted pistachios. There wasn’t an overwhelming pistachio taste, it tasted more like a creamier version of traditional pesto pasta, so if you aren’t a pistachio fan don’t let that deter you from trying this!
Jon chose the Inferno Pizza with spicy capicola, mozzarella, chili flakes, chili oil, and parmigiano. The spicy pizza tasted delicious but definitely made our noses run a bit! (Luckily they were easy to catch #dadjoke) The pizza and pasta complemented each other perfectly. If we went back, I’d definitely share pizza and pasta again, especially because of the generous serving sizes.
As you can imagine, the pizza, pasta, and meatballs were incredibly filling, but the waiters brought Jon a surprise tiramisu with a candle so we managed to find some extra room in our bellies 🙂 The tiramisu perfectly ended our meal, it was light and airy with a delicious espresso taste. I noted Jon’s birthday when I made the online reservation but didn’t bring it up again, so I’m starting to think that restaurants/hotels actually read the reservation notes. I loved this special meal with my special dinner date 🙂
I’d highly recommend Gelso & Grand! It’s such a fun atmosphere and it’s not super expensive or overpriced. It’s hard to justify going to a restaurant again when there are so many to try in NYC, but we definitely would go back to Gelso & Grand. Jon and I had a great meal and experience!
Jon requested his moms famous chocolate cake (she’s an amazing cook so this seemed a little daunting, but she gave me good guidance!) so Friday morning I destroyed our kitchen to make this delicious two layer chocolate cake and rich chocolate frosting. The cake turned out delicious! The only bad thing is we were left with lots of leftovers for two people ha 😉
One of my favorite parts of Jon’s birthday was finally picking out a “husband” birthday card this year! Felt like I was waiting forever to do that. Jon said he had a great birthday that was way better than last year! The following day we continued celebrating with brunch and a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Happy Birthday, Jon!! I hope this year ahead is filled with lots of love, laughs, adventure, time with family, travel, amazing food, and happy memories!