Service: ☆☆ ½
There is a wonderful spot on Mulberry Street that pays homage to its Italian American heritage and cuisine.
Torrisi Italian Specialties is a unique restaurant that completely changes its persona from day to night. At lunchtime one can feast on a limited but outstanding selection of traditional sandwiches such as chicken parm or turkey heroes.
In the evening the space transforms itself to a semi fine dinning establishment where owners and chefs, Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi create incredible riffs on Italian American cooking. Their dishes are thoughtful, delicate and delightful. All the ingredients they use are Italian American products made in the USA.
The only piece of this puzzle that does not fit for me is the unnecessary pretentiousness of the waiters, which for me completely goes against the grain of the neighborhood and the Italian way. The servers move with joyless mechanization through the meal seemingly having only one objective – to get the food on the table. For me, this takes a certain amount of pleasure out of the experience.
There is a no reservation policy so the best way to snag a table is to be there for their first service at 6:00 PM. The menu changes daily and dinner offers 4 antipasti, a pasta dish, an entrée and house pastries for $65.
Here is some of what we ate:
WILD GOOSE OYSTERS
WARM MOZZERELLA, DAVERO OILVE OIL WITH GARLIC CROSTINI
BROCCOLI SALAD, PICKLED MUSHROOMS
SMOKED TROUT, SQUASH & BLOSSOMS
VEAL & TUNA, CAPERED CUCUMBERS
RICE A RONI CARBONARA, PEAS AND BACON
BLACK BASS, FULTON CHOWDER
YANKEE PORK ROAST, MUSTARD AND RELISH
GINGER ITALIAN ICE