A second attempt at assessing Torrisi delightfully granted me a sampling of its jeweled lunch fare. A previous effort had taken place in the evening, when the grocery style shop had turned into a proper restaurant and I was deterred by an hour long wait for a table.
As a nation that thrives on sensationalism, hyperbole frequently takes reign over the reality of how good things really are. In the realms of food, the quest for the best insert-whatever-here is never over. Consequently, we can be disappointed, sometimes even puzzled by our experiences or palates for that matter. Torrisi has enjoyed, for sometime now a cult-like following, its devotees often waxing eloquent about the highly coveted turkey sandwich for lunch and the ever changing prix fixe menu for dinner.
Speaking solely about my lunch experience, I can confidently say that I was really pleased. I had the turkey on a roll. A round mound of super-moist turkey that was coddled with lettuce, tomato and a deliciously spicy and sweet coulis. I couldn’t decide if this vegetable spread was tomato or red pepper based. A smidge of mayo brought a creamy disposition to the whole experience. At first, I decided that this was a good sandwich but after two or three bites into it, I realized that it wasn’t only good but a rather noble one. The bread itself, not only harnessed the sandwich’s contents but actually contributed to the experience of devouring the delicious turkey.
To accompany the roll, I had the spicy rabe and the asparagus salad. It was in these side dishes that I began to understand what the folks at Torrisi are set on doing. This is a place that makes good food and nothing else. Adjacent to Little Italy, Torrisi elevates Italian-American cuisine to the territory of the divine without the pompousness of haute cuisine.
250 Mulberry St
(between Spring St & Prince St)
New York, NY 10012