Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ready, Eat, Fire! Dinner at Tiro a Segno, inside the NYC Italian Rifle Club

NYC abounds with private, members-only clubs.  Are you a sports fan? The NY Athletic Club is for you.  Like the arts? Then check out the National Arts Club?  Fan of literature? The Century Club. Business woman? Cosmopolitan Club. Play tennis? NY Racquet and Tennis Club might be a fit.

What about a gun club for Italian-Americans? Step right up, NYC has one of those, too.  That's right, there is a rifle club in NYC, specifically, in the West Village.  If you're lucky enough to be get invited to eat there, you can even get in a little target practice between courses.

I recently had the pleasure of having dinner at Tiro, and it was an amazing experience.  When the antipasto platters came around the table, I had to stop myself from filling up on mozzarella cheese (shipped in from Naples) and paper-thin slices of sweet & salty prosciutto.  Then came the grilled vegetables, boiled and grilled shrimp, and bread with olive oil for dipping, and a wild assortment of other amazing dishes.  The only thing keeping me from eating my way through all of them, like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, was the wonderful smell coming from the buffet table the waiters were setting up.  Tangy tomato sauce, chicken parmesan, and an assortment of fish and pasta dishes.

While the tables were cleared to make way for dessert, I went down to the basement to check out the rifle range. Each of us was given a choice of paper targets -- Osama Bin Laden was one choice -- and a rifle with five bullets.  I couldn't figure out how to close my left eye while siting with my right, so my instructor gave me an eye patch.  At least is was black, and matched the black skirt and jacket I was wearing -- not a typical pirate look, but at least I could see to shoot!  (And yes, I hit my target all five times -- I got to bring home the paper to prove it!)

Back upstairs, we were treated to huge bowls of fresh fruit, like prickly pear, plums and strawberries, as well as traditional Italian cookies.  It was a nice way to round out the evening.

I'm dying to go back -- more for the mozzarella than the rifle shooting.  Maybe my Italian friends will take pity on me and invite me to join them again.  I can always hope.



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