Farinella in Tribeca may be a pizza spot, but panini ($8.25-$10.75) are where they truly excel. There are ten to pick from, and an occasional special. All panini are assembled on house-made bread—the same dough used to make their pizza. And all are on the rich and heavy side, extra-generous with the olive oil.
Perhaps most memorable is the Cuma Panini ($9.50), in which thick slices of fresh smoked mozzarella are piled atop eggplant, sautéed with plenty of garlic and tomatoes until it falls apart, almost like a puree. Fresh basil finishes it off before a trip to the panini press. It's got everything—that crunch from crisp bread, laced in olive oil, with just enough chew. Mozzarella melting into the whole messy affair, and garlic that lingers in your mouth. Plenty of napkins required.
And since it may take a while to warm your panino in the press, especially during lunch hours, best get the mini-calzone ($2.40) to tide you over. Stuffed with mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce, it's a savory nibble to whet your appetite.