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Monday, January 3, 2011

Torrisi Italian Specialities

Last year, wow that sounds weird, Chip & Pepper closed it's doors only for a new restaurant to open up. This restaurant, Torrisi Italian Specialities. It's hard to tell if a restaurant is good just from walking by and peaking in the windows. I hoped the new restaurant up the block from my apartment was going to be good. Much more convenient for my laziness!

The first time I visited Torrisi, I was supposed to be partaking in a gruling spin class at David Barton Gym with my friend Jen. However, when we walked into the spin class, I saw who the instructor was, and bolted. I found myself standing outside of Torrisi thinking eating was a much better idea than sweating. 

Their dinner concept is that of going over to a friends house for dinner, you eat what they decide to cook that night. Well, that would be fine and dandy if you wanted pork chops and asparagus and don't mind paying $50.00. We did mind and after a few sips of water and learning the ropes, we then bolted from the second establishment of the evening. However, the evening ended well at another little restaurant in the hood. 

After spreading the word of their dinner concept, I finally came across someone who had been there for lunch. And then another one. And then another one. And then... you get the idea. All I heard about was how fantastic the Torrisi turkey sandwiches were. I decided to give them another shot.  My second try with Torrisi ended unsuccessfully as well. All you hear about is these amazing sandwiches! What you don't hear about is the extremely long line and wait to get these amazing sandwiches. 

My Mom was visiting and I was out shopping with a client in SoHo. I work uptown and I am very rarely downtown for lunch. Because Torrisi only serves these said amazing sandwiches at lunch, I knew this was one of my only chances to try it out. I had my Mom meet me outside Torrisi only to find her in a line which extended out the door and around the front of the restaurant. 

Obviously with my short lunch break this wasn't going to work either. 

I had almost given up on Torrisi when I realized I knew the perfect time and place to give it one last shot. Third times a charm right? 

On Thursday, after an exhausted night of trying to sleep while worrying about not making it back to New York City, (because of the first snow storm that I sadly missed) Shannon and I had the easiest flight possibly and were back and unpacked in my cute little abode before noon. We were starving and I decided it was time to check out Torrisi again. 

Of course there was a line. A long line. But we were tough and decided to stick it out. We ordered fairly quickly which we were happy about. Then we got a little impatient. We wanted to eat there. However, eating there means standing around staking claim for a table. It took about 20-25 minutes before someone got up and we hijacked one. I believe we gave a few evil eyes looks to the gentleman doing nothing but reading his book on one of the back banquette two tops. 

Finally we found a seat. But, we still had no food to go with this seat. Roughly 10-15 more minutes later, they called our number and the one and only server brought us our steaming hot sandwiches. 

After all the gossip on this turkey sandwich I had to give it a shot. Just look at that hunk of turkey! 

The sandwiches come on either a roll...

or a baguette. I got the baguette only for the one and only specific reason that the guy taking my order said it was larger than the roll! It was awesome. Fantastic. Delicious. Tasty. SPICY. Worth the 40 minute wait? No. Worth trying it once. Yes.

Shannon went with the Chicken Parmesan sandwich with the fresh mozzarella. Now, this was a sandwich. I liked hers better than mine! It was spectacular. I would go back again just for this sandwich. But, only if I didn't have to wait 40 minutes. 

Torrisi also had a small but delicious looking array of side dishes including Brussels sprouts, Roasted Pepper, Spicy Rabe, Eggplant Relish, Cauliflower, Whipped Ricotta and homemade Mozzarella.  

Look at that mozzarella. I need now. 

This is definitely a fantastic lunch spot if you don't mind waiting. I would love to bring my parents here, if they have the patients for it. I mean, even Wallace Shawn didn't have the patience and was back out the door the second he walked in. But, the sandwiches and sides are really amazing. 

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