As usual I experienced so much serious deliciousness this year, so when Max asked me to come up with a list of my favorite must-eats, I found it excruciatingly difficult to limit myself to the usual ten, so I didn't.
'Torrisi Italian Specialties' on Serious Eats
Fun is usually not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of tasting menus. Expensive? For sure. Exciting? I hope so. Tasty? Better be. Show-offy? Often. So when I went to Torrisi Italian Specialties for Rich Torrisi's freshly designed $125 twenty-course tasting menu, I couldn't help but wonder: could the chef's characteristic sense of humor make such a marathon meal a fun experience?
We didn't purposely move into our offices in the Chinatown/Little Italy neighborhood last year to be closer to Torrisi Italian Specialties, but it sure worked in our favor. Torrisi's little sib Parm opened next door last November by the same two classically trained Italian-American chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, who are elevating comfort-foody dishes with sophisticated cooking techniques (does anyone in Little Italy use a CVap oven to make pork chop pizzaiola?). They've got a whole selection of nightly specials, from Italian Thanksgiving on Thursdays to Chinese on Sundays. Check 'em all out.
Parm, the new sandwich and lunch shop from the gentlemen of Torrisi Italian Specialties, officially opens today next door to that restaurant. We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview yesterday. Here's what to expect.
As we've seen, there are some tourist-frequented spots that really do serve good food. But where do we think tourists should go? Here are a dozen places that we think visitors to our fair city shouldn't miss. (Pizza, bagels, burgers, Italian-American spots, picks for Food Network and Top Chef fans, and the best way to get into great restaurants for less cash—it's all here.)
We'll be sharing profiles on all the delicious sandwiches, desserts, and drinks you'll find at the Serious Eats All-Star Sandwich Festival from now until the big day. Today the spotlight's on the "Panama," a turkey sandwich from Torrisi Italian Specialties. Hungry yet? Obvious next question, have you bought your tickets yet?
Make no bones about it, I'm a spuds man. A properly cooked potato—fried, mashed, hashed, souffled, baked, chipped, a pizza topping—is a beautiful thing any time of day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. New York's chefs are quite accommodating when it comes to indulging my predilection for potatoes. Herewith, some of my favorite places to get my potato fix. What are your favorite spots for potatoes in the city?
I take my football almost as seriously as I take my food. And while this may not be the year for my beloved Giants, I'll still be tuning in to the game this weekend—with plenty of snacks on hand. Here's how I'd cater my dream Super Bowl party: the most snackable ham biscuits in the world, the best Super Bowl hero an eater could ask for, the ideal football-watching pizza, and more.
It's been quite a year for restaurants in New York. In fact, though it's hard to believe, some of my very favorite spots in the city have opened their doors within the last year. And others just came to our attention in the last twelve months, reminding us how very much exists in the world of New York restaurants. Here's a recap of my favorite eight reviews this year.
[Photo: Robyn Lee] Italian-American lunch spot and restaurant Torrisi Italian Specialties managed, this year, to do the impossible: make roasted turkey breast taste incredible. Their turkey sandwich, made from a breast slow-roasted and glazed with honey, garlic, and herbs,...
Don't you love turkey sandwiches? No? Me neither. Generally speaking, turkey on a roll is a dry, bland affair; all I can remember from most turkey sandwiches is what kind of cheese was on it. Not so at Torrisi Italian Specialties in Nolita, where their turkey is marinated in honey, garlic, and herbs, and slow roasted until the turkey is tender and succulent with more than a little garlic kick.
Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, chef-owners of the proudly Italian-American Torrisi Italian Specialties, prove in their recently-launched dinner service that their understanding of serious food extends far beyond red sauce. Having eaten the insanely good sandwiches and side dishes at Torrisi for lunch a number of times, I thought that when we walked through the door at Torrisi for dinner, we were going to find elevated southern Italian red-sauce specialties—something like what the Frankies, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, do so very well at Frankie's 457 and their other ventures. That would have been good enough for me. But dinner at Torrisi Italian Specialties is a culinary and gustatory tour de force.
In Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone's hands, the Italian-American classics we'd all long thought tired seem fresh and original.