Torrisi Italian Specialty: Great $65 Tasting Menu

torrisi italian specialty

Dear Food Diary:
My first taste of Torrisi was back at Le Fooding 2010, where Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone’s pig tongue dish left a bad taste in my mouth. Therefore the restaurant got bumped all the way down on my eating list. Only recently, did it make it to the top again. Word on the street is that their fresh mozzarella is legit, so I had to take this long overdue trip to Nolita.

torrisi italian specialty 2
Edelzwicker – Bloomer Creek Finger Lakes NY
I started the night off with a Edelzwicker which is a blend of Riesling and Gewurztraminer (2 of my favorite whites). Fruity with just the right amount of sweetness.

We opted for the $65 Tasting Menu (menu changes weekly) since we weren’t celebrating or anything. If you’re in a splurging mood there’s also a 20 course for $160. The 20 seat restaurant is intimate and warm. Good friendly service and nicely lit. Reservations are a must.

 

torrisi italian specialty - garlic bread
Garlic Bread
It had all the right components. Superbly done. A nice crunch all around while the butter swirled in my mouth bite after bite. Garlic and fresh herbs never disappoint.

 

torrisi italian specialty - fresh mozaarella
torrisi italian specialty - fresh mozzarella 2
Warm Mozzarella in DaVero Olive Oil
This was as dreamy as mozzarella could get. Soft oozing texture with that teasingly good stretch. The right balance of creamy and pull/chew producing strings of tongue arousing mouthfuls. The fresh notes of the young olive oil gives it a bright finish. One of the best mozzarellas I’ve had. Add some garlic bread and I’m a happy camper.

 

torrisi italian specialty - mussel
Dungenous crab w crispy leeks and crab/mussel broth and mussels and eggs
The natural umami of crab and mussel are present in the broth. The sweetness of the crab and breaking that sexy egg yolk brings it all together with oniony strands of fried leeks and scallions. This is my kind of comfort in a bowl.

 

torrisi italian specialty - sausage terrine 2
torrisi italian specialty - sausage terrine
Sausage pate w charred peppers and homemade somolena bread
This was basically a gourmet version of sausage and peppers. I love the pistachios in every bite.

 

torrisi italian specialty - croquette
Kohlrabi Croquette, Apple Butter and Mustard
Kohlrabi is a perennial vegetable. Crunchy in texture. This had a bit of sweetness and a kick. Anything fried is good in my book, so no complaints here.

 

torrisi italian specialty - pasta rings with calamari and pepperoni
Pasta Rings with Calamari and Pepperoni
Al dente pasta in a spicy and tart sauce. The bitter greens and crunchy bits on top played along nicely. Not spectacular but it was quite memorable.

 

torrisi italian specialty - seared bass
Striped Bass with Marsala Buttons
This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. Earthy medley of mushrooms dance in the marsala sauce. The fish is moist and has a crunchy herb crust. The distinct aroma of celery goes surprisingly well with the buttery fish.

 

torrisi italian specialty - lamb coppa
Fresh Lamb Coppa Romanesco
Since I don’t eat lamb, you’ll have to trust StalkerBoy’s opinion here. As good as it looked, he said it was a bit plain in flavor and nothing stood out. He preferred my fish.

 

torrisi italian specialty - ginger ice
Ginger Ice Palate Cleanser - yum!

 

torrisi italian specialty - dessert
House Pastries for dessert

torrisi italian specialty - cannoli
Ricotta Cannoli 
Small bite of creamy ricotta and a light crisp shell with a citrus finish. If all cannolis were built like this one, I would become a fan.

torrisi italian specialty - celery cake
Celery Cookie
Had more of a cake texture. Nice bright and unexpected aroma. Who knew celery would be so yummy sweet!? I thought this was pretty unique.

torrisi italian specialty - tricolor cake
Tri-Color Cookie
I guess I’ve never tried a good tri-color cookie because I remember them to be dry and flavorless. These on the other hand, were moist with strong almond flavors. Though I’m still not a big fan of all that color.

The Apricot Cucidati had a very nutty crunch, with a sweet and tart jam like filling. The Peppermint Truffle was good but nothing for me to write about.

Overall I thought the meal was a great price and I would love to become a regular. The food and service were memorable without being snooty. Casual enough for a first date, but nice enough for a date night with your honey.

One of these days, I’ll have to try their epic 20 course Chef’s Tasting.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating: chubby rating 4
www.torrisinyc.com
250 Mulberry St
212.965.0955 

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