Life in the big city, and everything in between.

Torrisi Italian Specialties

In Food on November 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Sandwich shop by day, where you can get an excellent chicken parm and a small bottle of coke. But at night, Torrisi is transformed into a 20 seat intimate restaurant. Don’t bother calling in for a reservation, because they don’t take them. Customers will wait for more than an hour to be one of those lucky few to partake in what will be a one of a kind, rustic dining experience.

Dinner at Torrisi’s is one of the best Italian experiences I have had since I’ve lived in New York City. It is true when they say “the best things come in small packages”, although Torrisi is a tiny restaurant, the dishes are like none you have ever had. The food is cooked so delicately and the dishes are classic takes on Italian-American fare.  The four-course Sunday meal, which changes every day, is served six nights a week at a prix fix of $50 dollars.

The restaurant’s menu, which is written on a chalkboard, is executed by the owners and chefs, Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi. They will start you with antipasti, then into pasta, protein, and finally dessert.

Torrisi only serves wine and beer, like a good old American Schaefer beer which dates back to the 1800s.

To start, warm, freshly made mozzarella, sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil, and deliciously rich garlic toast on the side.The mozzarella was oozing with goodness and so soft and pillowy.

Then came what I would say was my favorite antipasti, Frank’s Bread with baccalà and cured lemons. Slices of grilled bakery bread with parsley pesto and topped with creamy, salty baccalà and cured lemon was absolute heaven on my plate.

Who am I kidding, they were all my favorites. Especially the crispy tripe Cacciatore. I am pretty adventurous and will try just about anything you put in front of me. But for some reason when people hear “tripe” they would rather pass. However, if you had no idea what it is you would be asking for seconds. Trust me. This antipasto is a unique take on a classic Italian dish. The tripe is crispy and fried to a golden perfection.

After the antipasti, which is served in proper portions, it’s time for the pasta dish. Fusilli pasta, which is a long, thick, corkscrew shaped pasta, in a rich “dirty” duck ragu. This dish made everyone at the table swoon. The flavor of this hearty sauce was exploding in my mouth. I couldn’t take one bite without my fork going back in for more.

The main course was a choice between the Wild Sea Bass with Fulton chowder or Veal Marsala with pine mushrooms. Don’t be deceived by how simple these dishes sound. The fish was soft and buttery, swimming in a pool of delicious, wholesome broth.

While the Veal was tender and juicy with just the right amount of richness in the meat.

To end the meal, a little tart lemon Italian ice.

And then, when you think there couldn’t be room for more, here it comes, a plate of classic Italian cookies. Cherry swiss fudge swirls, bourbon cream puffs, Pizzelle cannoli with Salvatore ricotta filling, dark chocolate, and pumpkin cheesecake tart. The whole plate is full of sweet little bites.

A ridiculously amazing bargain, and a series of delightful dishes in an adorable Italian eatery. This place has not only stolen my heart but it has proved to be nothing short of excellent.

250 Mulberry St
(between Spring St & Prince St)
Manhattan, NY 10012
Neighborhood: Nolita

(212) 965-0955

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  1. This is making me hungry! hurry up and get down here sis!

  2. Seriously after reading this I want to hop on the train and go there right now. I don’t even care if I eat alone!mmmmmmmmmmmm

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