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A Week of Lunches

Five excuses to skip the brown bag routine and actually leave your desk.


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(page 2 of 3)


“Only Italians would put those two colors next to one another,” he said. The owners had done the build-out themselves. There’s real design sense at work, from colors to logo. The staff wore signature T-shirts that said, “My Own Mix, “Mix with Others.” Our waitress wore one that said, “Mix with Boys.”


Photo by David Croxford

Chef Bruno Iezzi whips up an omelet at Mix Café.

“I’d love to mix with you,” said my friend, the Italian coming out. Although the cooks behind the counter spoke Italian, the women spoke Korean. “We’re a mix,” said our waitress.

The food? You should have to beg to get one of the 15 seats in this little restaurant. The menu’s limited, mainly panini and pasta, the list of pastas taped to a mirror. My friend and I argued over selection. Finally, Bruno volunteered to make us two-thirds portions, so we could order three and pay for two.

We got gemelli—“the twins,” because it’s two strands of pasta twisted around each other. We got it three ways—with crumbles of housemade Italian sausage, with baked tomato and basil and with a sage-lemon cream sauce.

“These are perfect lunch pastas,” said my friend. “Nothing heavy at all, no big damn glop of marinara sauce.” Even the cream sauce seemed light as a caress, filled with citrus and herb flavors. We couldn’t decide which one we liked best.

In addition, we ordered a tray of antipasti, which, in defiance of tradition, we ate after the pasta. The proscuitto and melon were, well, proscuitto and melon. The marinated dark red beets, however, will change your mind about root vegetables.

I also went crazy for the butternut squash, steamed, dressed in olive oil and black pepper. My friend went crazy for the summer salad—potatoes, grape tomatoes, haricot vert, glistening in olive oil vinaigrette.

Lunch, and I doubt another pair of you can consume so much, was $37, including a couple of espressos and a generous tip for the “Mix with Boys” waitress.

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