May 1995 Midtown ManhattanMy birthday was approaching … A friend of my – also a journalist from NY – invited me to one of Manhattan’s restaurant to celebrate that wonderful day with me. I did not know which place she has chosen. I was only told that I should meet her on 49th street, and that I can’t be late. It was beautiful day, but I decided to take a taxi – which was obviously not a good idea. There was heavy traffic and around 42nd I realised that it will be much faster if I just walk. I’ve met my friend and we went toward the big sign DOMINGO. The place didn’t look like a restaurant from outside, it was just ordinary building.
But the name “Domingo” catch my attention. I realised, that I know only one Domingo. Placido! And that was it. My friend made a reservation for dinner in his own restaurant at 209 E 49Str. We went inside, where we were welcomed very warmly by the staff. The table was waiting for us so in the next few moments we’ve place an order and drinks. I was just telling my friend how grateful I am to be in Placido Domingo restaurant , when I noticed that two man were heading towards our table. And I remember exactly, I froze for a moment ! One of the man was the one and only Placido Domingo! The other one was his son. He smiled and wished me very happy birthday. He also apologized, that he couldn’t sing for me „Happy birthday”, but the choir of his waiters would do it !!! And yes, they did, they sang to me. Wow! what an event that was. Unfortunately there were no smartphones at that time, and I didn’t have my camera with me so no photos from that day at all. But the atmosphere was unique, all guests applauded and sang to me a happy birthday as well. And I have a restaurant menu signed by Maestro Domingo with the old dishes, which was served in his restaurant that time. Yes there is no more Domingo restaurant and Spanish dishes. The old place was renamed to Pampano , and now delicious Mexican cuisine is served there. One year later, I was among the journalist videotaping and interviewing people during one of the greatest concerts of the Tree Tenors at Yankee Stadium in NY Yes, I’ve seen him again in such different circumstances, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti! Unforgettable and priceless moments of my life.Today I’ll share with you a recipe for Mexican soup called soup of the soul (this soup is served in Pampano restaurant)