Serious Sandwiches: Valentine's Day Edition

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Surprisingly, I actually like Valentine’s Day. Maybe it's not that big a surprise since I have someone I love, and against all odds, she actually loves me back (food obsessions and all). I know you can do nice things for people you care about “anytime you want,” but there’s something about Valentine’s Day that I like. Maybe it’s that you have an excuse to do something on a weeknight that you may not do otherwise. Last year my wife and I had the best Valentine’s Day—it involved a movie, some wine, and, of course, a pair of serious sandwiches. Fancy dinners and expensive flowers are nice, but I think hidden food snuck into a movie (with alcohol pairing of course) is the best option. And what better food is there than a sandwich? Perfectly portable, and easy to eat in a theater—silverware not necessary.

Lucky for us, there a place right between my office in Midtown Manhattan and our local movie theater on the Upper West Side of New York City that has a few serious sandwiches: the Bouchon Bakery take-out window, courtesy of Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se). No matter where we eat, my wife and I usually order two different things and share (to cover more ground), but when it comes to the Bouchon Bakery vegetable jardiniere, neither of us are willing to give up a half…so two of the same thing it was.

The sandwich starts off with eggplant, portabello mushrooms, red peppers, red onions, and fennel that have been roasted in Boromeo extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, garlic and thyme. A layer of Gruyère gets added, before being sandwiched between two slices of house baked multigrain pullman bread,smeared with pesto, and pressed until toasty, and the cheese is oozing out the side. Grab a handful of napkins, and you're on your way!

Of course, the vegetable jardiniere is not a Valentine’s Day requirement. Just grab your favorite sandwich, a screw-top wine and a couple of paper cups (carefully hidden in a back pack) and head to your local theater. The best part is, you don’t even need to have a significant other to do it. Sandwiches and getting sloshed at a movie is just as enjoyable with friends.

About the author: Zach Brooks is the proprietor of Midtown Lunch, where he blogs about affordable lunchtime eats in Midtown Manhattan. The guy knows his sandwiches.

Bouchon Bakery

Address: Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019 (map)
Phone: 212-823-9364

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