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STACY'S PICKS: Torrisi Italian Specialities
When I started Stacy's Picks, I intentionally wanted to avoid suggesting only fancy restaurants with pricey tasting menus. But Torrisi Italian Specialties twenty course tasting menu, at the fairly reasonable price of $125, is an exception.
Since eating there a few weeks ago, I have been obsessed (as usual) with their food, talking up their tasting menu to anyone who will listen. I'm not alone -- just this week in New York magazine's "Best of NY" issue, they chose Torrisi as the city's best tasting menu.
The menu is inspired by the gastronomic history of New York City, carefully designed by young chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone over the course of a year. Certain New York-inspired dishes include mind blowing pretzel nuggets and sable "cigarettes" (a personal favorite of mine): gnocco frito with cream cheese, smoked sable, and poppy seed ash harken back to the traditional Jewish deli.
Other noteworthy plates include a Chinese-American chicken and cashew dish and bite sized knishes topped with crème fraicheand caviar.
Unlike many of the city's other, pricier tasting menus, Torrisi Italian Specialties has a fun, unpretentious vibe that distinguishes it from the competition. It is neither the classic fare expected from a restaurant in Little Italy, nor the indulgent, upscale experience of many other tasting menus. With a delicious, clever, and exciting menu, Torrisi is a tasting experience unlike any other in New York.
Here's the full menu from the restaurant on the night I went:
Torrisi Italian Specialities
250 Mulberry Street