A Sandwich a Day: The Roast Beef Special at Previti Pizza
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
It's not often that a pizzeria also does a great sandwich — especially in Midtown. But the roast beef sandwich at Previti Pizza on 41st and Lexington is another matter.
House-roasted beef is dipped in its juices, layered with fresh mozzarella, and sandwiched between a genius realization of roast-beef-specific bread that's a cross between and English muffin and focaccia. The nooks and crannies of the bread do double duty: They absorb the beef's juices, of course, but also make an ideal spreading surface for plenty of compound garlic-butter. The bread, which chef Anthony Fiorentino jokingly calls "panthony" is baked in-house early in the morning yet maintains a crisp exterior and spongy crumb throughout the day.
Not that these sandwiches sit very long. They're only served on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they go fast. I got the last one, around 2 p.m., when I visited late last week.
Oh, did I mention that potato chips are involved? They are. A smattering of Kettle Chips is layered on the bottom for added crunch. Rosemary chips or sour-cream-and-onion, depending on the day or on Fiorentino's mood.
If Fiorentino's name rings a bell, you might recognize him from nearby Amish Market (East), where he worked until joining Previti. It's essentially the same roast beef sandwich he created there, he says, noting that even though it's still on the menu at Amish Market, customers have followed him over to Previti.
It's a nice, manageable Midtown homage to the sort of roast beef and gravy sandwiches you see in Italian markets in the deep outer boroughs. The beef is a little less juicy than I'd like, but the slathering of garlic butter and the creamy fresh mozz help it along.
At $7.95, it's a bit pricier than the great plain slices there, but if you're not in the pizza mood and are looking for a solid sandwich in the Grand Central area, this is your place.