Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The New Little Italy

I may be jumping the gun, but I see a trend starting on the northern end of Mulberry street. 

Traditionally Little Italy has been mostly centered on the south end of Mulberry between Canal and Grand.  Those blocks now are just rows of old school, red sauce Italian joints filled with tourist, who probably came looking for something that hasn't existed on those blocks in years: authentic, good Italian food.

Walk a few blocks north however and the feel of the street changes quite dramatically.  First off it's not all Italian, you can find good Middle Eastern food or even Australian food. You can also shop for things other than espresso makers and t-shirts, but mostly what makes walking a few blocks north will get you is really good Italian food

It comes in two different versions, Rubirosa is a retro red sauce place that may look old fashioned, but does things with red sauce that I never thought was possible.  They use top notch ingredients like Bobo Chicken and the sweetest tasting tomatoes that they can find to create amazingly transcendent food, in a fun, convivial, room.  They also have serious pros working mixologist magic at the bar, which is a great place to eat as well, if all the tables are booked (which is always).

Across the street is Torrisi a more upscale place with equally nostalgic ideas about Italian food, but with a more sophisticated and refined take on it. 

So fear not,  Little Italy is still alive and well, it's just moved a couple of blocks north.

Torrisi Italian Specialties from Photo Pow on Vimeo.

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