A Sandwich a Day: Italian Deli Classics with a Twist at Il Salumaio
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.
Il Salumaio is the newest Italian deli open in the Upper East Side. A small space managed by a more than friendly staff, the sandwich shop is a destination we would gladly visit again for a quick lunch fix. The sandwiches hew close to deli classics, but with some subtle twists.
For one there's the Arthur Avenue ($11.98 on a hero, focaccia, or ciabatta; about $9 on a roll), Il Salumaio's take on an Italian combo. The thinly sliced ham, mortadella, salami, and prosciutto are commendable if lightly applied; in place of sliced tomatoes were halved sweet cherry tomatoes dressed in syrupy balsamic. The lettuce is chopped rather than shredded, adding a refreshing crunch.
The only annoying tick here is that the tomatoes squeeze right out with each bite—but it is fun to pick up the leftover halves and pop them into your mouth as a nice afterthought. But the sandwich is satisfying all the same—huge but not tooweighty—and definitely not for the light-hearted.
The deli's eponymous sandwich, the Il Salumaio ($11.98 on focaccia) is a simple prosciutto and mozzarella bolstered with olives. We were impressed by the quality of fillings: thin, thin ham, milky mozzarella made in-house, and bold olives (the olives vary, but we dug our firm Sevillianos).
If this deli has an issue, it's the bread. The hero could have been more fresh, but it works. The focaccia leaves more to be desired. It's thin, plain-tasting, and lacking in texture. But it still forms the base for a solid sandwich we'd hit up the next time we're on the Upper East Side
About the author: Andrea Kang is a rising senior magazine journalism student at Northwestern University. She is the editor in chief of Spoon Magazine, Northwestern's campus food publication, and loves to blog about her food adventures at The Sunny-Side Up Kitchen.