Italian Provisions

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Dec 1st, 2017, 07:23 PM
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Italian Provisions

Eataly is very popular with both NY'ers and tourists. The prices are bit high, crowds, and a frenetic energy.

Here are some of the better Italian provision shops in Manhattan. You can go there the day or the day before you leave and bring home some wonderful cheeses, pastas, meats, and delicacies. A few have been around for more than 100 years. It is a more genuine experience.

Pasta

Raffetto’s (Established 1906)
144 W. Houston Street
They cut fresh pasta from sheets to your specification in front of you on a 110 year old machine. Not a gimmick just the freshest, tastiest pasta yet.

Bakeries

Sullivan Street Bakery
Various locations
You have probably eaten there breads many times and didn’t know it. It is offered in scores of restaurants and markets. You can identify many of the breads by sight. They are brown and crusty will the inside is light and airy. A paradigm for carbs.

Veniero’s
342 East 11th Street
Established in 1894 some of those people are still waiting on line. I love this place, the best inexpensive tiramisu, addictive ricotta cheesecake, moist pignoli cookies, there are scores of offerings and no losers. The take out staff is never the same and the lines are long for the café. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, the café is turned to a waiting room for take out. They use an old fashioned machine to wrap the string around the box, while quaint, adds to the interminable line. You can also call in an order.

Cheese
DiPalo Dairy (Established 1925)
200 Grand Street
One of NY’s great stores. Not only are the cheeses spectacular but sell perfect prosciutto. Their selections are impeccable. If at all possible avoid the weekend crowds, even though they have adults behind the counter.

Alleva Diary (Established 1892)
188 Grand Street
Not as good as its neighbor DiPalo but extremely offers a fine selection of Italian cheeses.

*Formaggio Essex
Essex Market on Essex Steet.
That should be enough Essexes. This is a tiny outlet from a Boston company. The cheeses are excellent but they have to vats where you take a bottle and fill it with a vinegar sherry or olive oil and both are redolent and extremely flavorful. There is some rules about deposits but I am not good at rules. The Essex market is a poured concrete structure with many stalls selling veggies and Hispanic staples with a barber shop in the back. Do not be deterred that it looks like pig farm from the outside.

Murray’s Cheeese
254 Bleecker Street and another in Grand Central
Best in show. They carefully choose only the finest quality of every variety. The staff is cheesemongers, one is even a gossip monger. The ricotta cheese cake is worth going to jail. This is a must visit for anyone who has the slightest interest in cheese.

*Russo’s Mozzarella (Established 1908)
344 East 11th Street
Cleverly they make fresh and smoked mozzarella which are excellent but they also make pastas, sauces, and there own olive varieties. Cramped but the guys know what they are doing.

Gelati

*Il Laboratorio de Gelato
188 Ludlow
95 Orchard Street
Everybody claims their gelati is the same as in Italy, blah, blah, blah. Their gelati is like Italy. It is the type you eat four times a day as you walk around Rome or Florence before you realize you have ruined your appetite for dinner. Expensive and cash only. (They just re-opened their old location next to the Tenement Museum besides the cavernous space across the street from Katz’s.)

Grom
Various locations
Expensive Italian chain now available here.

Food Markets
Unless otherwise noted these places are expensive or very expensive.

Agatha and Valentina
A large department features hard-core Italian cold cuts like soppressata and hot or sweet cappicola, while the cheese department sports a huge number of offerings and loads of free samples. The prepared foods section also has a thick Italian accent and is among the more interesting in the city. The just opened one on University Place which we have not been to.

*Citarella
Various Locations
One of the best spots for fish from standard stuff with gills to razor clams. Knowledgeable fishmongers. Same is true for meats. Their prepared foods are universally good with outstanding soups. The collect bread and cakes from various but good places.

Grace’s Marketplace
She is the daughter of old man Balducci, who was such a difficult character, she opened her own place. Physically it resembles the long gone Balducci’s on 6th Ave, but retained the good qualities such as the prepared meats and excellent meat, fish, and produce selections.

*Faicco’s (Established 1900)
260 Bleecker Street
They make their flavorful sausage, rice balls, sauces. You get the old schmooze from the guys behind the counter as well. If you like old fashioned Italian butchers who know what they are doing, this is the joint.
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 02:52 AM
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Thanks...

I love visiting Eataly when in NYC just to look but always find it difficult to buy anything because I feel like I'm getting gouged.
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 03:35 AM
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agreed! I take out of towners there for a look see
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 08:23 AM
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What a great list. Makes me want to visit the city, go home again !
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 08:57 AM
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Thanks Bedar. BTW, if you come to NYC, there is a place called Despaña that makes the best chorizos I have had in the US. They do mail order.

I understand La Tienda is very good (mail order) is very good also but I think they are in VA and Berkeley.

And if you make this way, I can suggest a few tapas places as well. And tell where you not go as well
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 11:43 AM
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Thanks, IMD. I'll look for the chorizo place on the web. All we can get here in Reno is the Mexican stuff in spite of the large Basque population here. We shop La Tienda all the time. Read that jamon serrano is going way up in price because the Chinese (!) are now buying it all up. Last year my ex in La Coruna got one for only 70€. Of course, Tienda is always more expensive, but my daughter just got their cheapest one, Fermin, for $279. She just told me it is really delicious. We'd better get over to her place before it's all gone. TG, she lives only 10 mi away !
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 07:58 PM
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Enjoy your serrano. It was expensive before.
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Dec 3rd, 2017, 07:33 AM
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Yup, and can still be. But, we prefer serrano to Iberico. Think we only had that at the parador in Zafra. Tasted soapy. With our talk on ham I was inspired to send a Fermin one to an old friend from Spain who's going thru hard times. My Christmas good deed. When she gets it, she's going to squeal !
BTW, Despana on Broome St. only delivers to 125th, East and West. Will have to look at the place in Jackson Heights for the chorizo. La Tienda's is good, too, but I can't remember which variety to get.
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Dec 3rd, 2017, 02:25 PM
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Sorry, I though Despana shipped. And yes the Queens location was the original and where they make the chorizo.
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Dec 4th, 2017, 08:01 AM
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I will take the tapas recs. thanks
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Dec 14th, 2017, 07:24 PM
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Loved Veniero's!!!
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Dec 14th, 2017, 11:40 PM
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Great list!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 06:20 AM
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Thanks Plambers, Buffalo, and 5alive.

We love Veniero's also. And the prices are very reasonable. I think they own the building, so they can so that.
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Dec 19th, 2017, 07:22 AM
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We did a cannoli (and one or two other things) comparison at a place a block or two away - the name escapes me, but it was another Italian bakery. Veniero's was the winner.
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Dec 19th, 2017, 10:37 AM
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The place nearest to Veniero's was DeRobertis which closed two years ago when the family sold the building. A Montreal style bagel place now occupies the space.
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Dec 22nd, 2017, 05:30 PM
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IMDonehere... that doesn't ring a bell. I could be wrong, but not sure. I would know the name if I heard it.
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Dec 22nd, 2017, 05:41 PM
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I looked at some pix online. Maybe it was DeRobertis!

Either way, Veniero's was better.
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Dec 23rd, 2017, 04:00 AM
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DiRobertis on the avenue? That closed and Black Seed is there now?? Hope the family owns the building.

IDH: I ate at a few places in your area including Tuome (excellent but pricey) and Timna. Looking forward to trying Hanoi House and some of the other Viet or Chinese places.... Never got to Huertas as was sick that night.
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Dec 23rd, 2017, 05:53 AM
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The family of DiRobertis did own the building. It is public record that they got $12 million for it. Which is a lot better than getting up every day at 3 AM to make cannolli.

We have not eaten at any of the restaurants listed, although Little Tang Noodles and Madame Vo are on our list.
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Dec 23rd, 2017, 05:56 AM
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We went to Derobertis when the crowds were insane at Venierio's. We got yo know the family and they had something called the orange (or lemon) things that Veniero's did not make which were terrific.
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