Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, two chefs who have cooked with Boulud and Batali, have opened a strangely appealing place–Torrisi Italian specialties is an Italian (really, Italian-American) hero shop and deli, where everything is made from domestic products. So that means no Parmesan, no imported anchovies, no Italian tomatoes. The Soho shop is made to look like an old-fashioned store front, and inside, everything is very casual and friendly, with a large selection of vegetable-based antipasti lined up on the counter, and a gigantic meat lasagna on display. Nostalgia meets greenmarket.
The Italian combo hero, on stellar seeded bread from Parisi Bakery, is a gutbomb of a sandwich, stuffed with a two-inch-thick wad of ham, salami, sopressata, pepperoni, and provolone, with shredded iceberg lettuce and slices of bland winter tomatoes. Ask for it spicy and get a smear of deliciously hot homemade chile spread.
Read on to see four more dishes from Torrisi
Marinated mushrooms ($4) include chanterelles, and get a lift from rosemary and chiles. Celery provides crunch.
Ridiculously delicious potatoes ($4) with ground pepperoni, pickled shallots, and sage.
Another sharable dish: Meat lasagna ($10) has wonderfully crisp edges, and is filled with fennel-scented pork sausage sauce, tomato sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella.
Starchy corona beans ($4) are cooked with fat hunks of bacon. The dish is brightened with a splash of red wine vinegar.
250 Mulberry Street