I met my friend Betsy for lunch here today when she realized that her $40 Groupon was nearing it’s expiration date. When we arrived, we were seated right away at a table right in front of the candy apple red slicer. This is a well-loved Italian sandwich shop that boasts sliced-to-order meats and authentic Panini. This is not the pressed and grilled ‘Panini’ that we NYers are used to, but actual real, Italian, non-squished Panini.
We ordered two to share; the Langhirano (Parma Proscuitto, Buffalo Mozzarella, tomato, Olive Oil) and the Stelvio (Bresaola, Parmesan, Arugula, Olive oil, Lemon juice and pepper)
The meats were pulled from their shelves and we could easily watch as they sliced it on the ‘Ferrari of slicers’, (as the Italians apparently refer to it) the Berkel. The other ingredients were carefully layered on and placed in perfect ratios on crunchy, warm, fresh Italian baguette and served immediately alongside of our iced teas.
There were 3 desserts offered on the menu, and we decided to share something. We ordered the tiramisu, which they were apparently out of. Then we asked about the chocolate salumi, which they were out of too. The third one didn’t really appeal, so, so much for that. No dessert for us.
The atmosphere is nothing special, just a small cafe with about 8 little tables. The service is fine, but not outstanding. There was literally nothing on the table at all- no flowers, no napkins, no placemats, no utensils, no glasses of water. I think most people probably come here and get panini to go instead of sitting and being served.
Including our tip, the total came to just under $50. Given our awesome Groupon for $20, it was a great deal…but to be honest, without that deal I’m really not sure that 2 sandwiches are really worth that much money. Delicious? Yes. But THAT much better than a baguette from elsewhere for 60% of that price? Probably not.