After a painfully long Friday at school including 25 rowdy kids, two 19-year old and clueless student teachers, 5 second grade teacher colleagues, one set in her ways literacy staff developer and one TC (Teachers Reading and Writing Project) Lucy Cawkins disciple, I had no interest in going to Il Mulino for Stuart’s birthday. Not to mention a just-finished insane day at work, I now had to go to a lecture at NYU to watch segments of children from another school. Keep in mind, it’s Friday. This is not what Friday is supposed to be. Upon getting home via cab to the boondocks of 23rd street between 10th and 11th (yes, my husband bought a condo here before we were together and I could verbalize my opinion), I trudged in, bags in hand, lines on forehead, tired and ready to just order in. Stu, roaring to go, was eagerly awaiting his 2nd birthday dinner in a series of three. Don’t birthdays last one single day? Crotchety and aggravated, I threw on all black and complained the whole cab ride back downtown to the village about my loathing of Fridays and how for my birthday all I’d like is a slice of pizza and a card.
Il Mulino has been around since the early 1980’s, when it started out as a mom and pop Italian eatery before it turned into the current version – a corporate owned machine filled with corporate patrons in the middle of Greenwich Village. This place is a total power scene served in two seatings each of which is serviced by waiters rushing you up from your table and out the door. Overall, the space is tiny and the tastes are large – be sure not to overstuff yourself with the delectable cheese, unreal zucchini smothered in garlic and sumptuous bread basket they pile onto your table before the meal actually begins. Once seated and beginning to fill yourself with these amazing old world recipes, you may unfortunately be elbowed in the back more than once by a waiter scurrying through tending to other customers. The meal itself is supported by an extensive list of specials – be sure to both bring your hearing aid to take it all in and keep tabs on your wine glass as the attentive wait staff is dying to refill your sixteen dollar glass of pinot grigio. Stick with the South Beach diet Monday through Thursday so you can carb your heart out Friday night on the homemade pasta in every shape and size at Il Mulino. As good as it looks, it tastes even better. 86 W 3rd St | Btwn Sullivan & Thompson St (212) 673-3783