February 7 – Fettucine Alfredo Day
Can you, quite honestly, go wrong with a big plate of pasta covered in butter and cheese? Such a dish has been made in Italy for centuries, ever since butter, cheese, and pasta have been around (because any culture that utilizes these three ingredients in their cuisine have invariably made some type of dish that resembles this!) But it only got the name “Fettucine Alfredo” in 1914 when by Alfredo di Lelio, who was serving it to American tourists in Rome and giving it his own name. It grew famous as an Italian-American cuisine staple in the late 1920s and 30s, after Hollywood superstars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks raved about the dish on their honeymoon. (In modern translation, that would be like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt trying a new dish on a humanitarian trip to Africa and everyone in America soon falling in love with Tanzanian Ugali.)
The rest, as they say, is history: fettucine alfredo can be found on nearly every Italian restaurant’s menu worth its salt (and quite a few of them who are not), and jars of alfredo sauce line grocery store shelves. It’s tough to find the “best” fettucine alfredo in any city, especially one known for its Italian heritage and cuisine like New York. But what better place to try the fare for the food holiday than the place named after the dish? Though it boasts that it is the “originator” of the Fettucine Alfredo, as well as the first restaurant to serve it in New York, Alfredo’s of Rome is still one of the most notable Italian restaurants to visit on a foodie trip through Manhattan. (Though, as any good New Yorker knows, one must side-eye any establishment that calls itself “original.” Ray’s Pizza, I’m lookin’ at you here.) But original or not, you can’t deny that this place makes its namesake look damn good. The alfredo sauce is thick and creamy, but not heavy, and the pasta is perfectly cooked. You may not be able to make it to Rome for Fettucine Alfredo day, but Alfredo might just be the next best thing. 🙂
Alfredo Of Rome
4 W 49th St (between 5th Ave & Rockefeller Plz)
“The namesake fettuccini Alfredo lives up to its reputation for richness: it arrives as a pale gold tangle of eggy noodles in a plain white dish, free of embellishments.”–NY Magazine
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“The fettuccine really is what everyone talks about. But if you eat a lot of fettuccine you might find Alfredo’s a tad different. But don’t worry, that’s because this one is done right. Very cheesy. All the others you’ve tried, all over the country, is sub par. If this is your first time, just order it!”–Don K.
“the fettucine alfredo is excellent. It’s very cheesy, not heavy and the pasta is truly al dente. It’s the best consistency I’ve had, and the place is super consistent with this dish.”–Erin O.