Monday, April 13, 2009

Salumeria Rosi

Dining at Salumeria Rosi is like dining at a high end delicatessan. It is a restaurant and a salumeria (cured meat shop) all in one. The salumi (cured meat) comes from the Rosi family in Parma who produces and distributes high quality salumi since the 70's under the succesful label Parmacotto. The brainchild behind the kitchen is Cesare Casella, who met the Rosi family through a chanced encounter.

I heard about Salumeria Rosi through my regular yaokui friends, S&G, the minute I heard the magic word "guanciale" (pork jowl), I knew I had to go.

I went with my usual hungry friends on a Friday night. We started with the salumi. We ordered a plate of Prosciutto di Parma, Guanciale, Pancetta, Speck Alto Adige, Soppressata and God knows what. That was our first plate of salumi and there were many more that followed, and I think we tried almost everything on the salumi menu. The quality was superb, and I felt like I was attending a salumi tasting event, they were all different, but I liked the coppa & guanciale best. I love how they teach you how to pronounce the names of salumi on their menu and website.

Now, on to test out Cesare Casella's creativity. We ordered a bunch of small plates. These are a few of my favorites:

Insalate pontormo - Cesare's signature salad of soft- scrambled egg, pancetta and market greens. The combination was pure genius! I've eaten scrambled eggs with salad on the side, but putting them together worked 100%. Cesare, you rock!

Risotto di Zucca Butternut squash risotto. Are you kidding me?? It was creamy but light, sweet but savoury, I demanded one more bowl AND I wanted to marry it (yeah, the risotto).

Zuppa carbonara - egg with bacon & parmensan soup with croutons. This dish summed up comfort food in a pretty bowl. It had all the elements I love - egg, pork & cheese. Actually, I take back my earlier statement about marrying the risotto, I want to marry the Zupp Carbonara now.

Rigatoni Mezze all'Amatriciana - Artisinal pasta with cured pork, red onions and tomatoes. The pasta was perfect cooked, and the tomatoes did not overpower the cured pork. Too bad Cesare wasn't in the kitchen that night, if not I would've given him a hug for the good food.

Ok, so he's not perfect - on to the things I didn't like that much. The Soppressata di Polpo - Terrine of Mediterranean octopus, olive and caper sauce was bland and somewhat tasteless. The Trippa - Slow cooked tripe stew was probably as well cooked as tripe goes, but I am not a big fan of the texture. (It's not you, it's me, Cesare).

Lastly, for desserts, we had he cherry & almond bread pudding, ricotta cheesecake, chocolate mousse and a cheese plate. The bread pudding stood out for me, and the cheese plate we ordered were pretty good as well, there was an unusual goat+milk cheese that was outstanding.

Will I go back to Salumeria Rosi again? In a heartbeat, even if it's just to grab some salumi to go. The interior of Salumeria Rosi is pretty cool, it's chic and trippy. Cesare, who is usually seen walking around the restaurant with a piece of herb (it was rosemary that night) in his shirt pocket adds a lot of character to this place.

All Salumeria Photos

Address: Salumeria Rosi, 283 Amsterdam Ave. (between 73rd & 74th St), New York, NY 10023

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