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Mar 2, 2008 11:59 AM

Any real italian spots in UES

I just moved to the UES and I've been looking for some italian deli's, pork stores, pastry shops, bread bakeries etc.. I cannot stand these "italian supermarkets" like Agata & Valentina and Citarella... Just as I would not bring my car's transmission to be serviced in a car wash/jiffy lube - I will not buy fresh mozz from a place that makes cookies and bread and has butcher etc... Its just too much - no artisanship!!! And the mozz from A&V was not up to par... I'm looking for a great butcher and maybe a great cheese guy - a pork store etc... Can anyone point me in the right direction - or should I just head downtown or to Brooklyn or Jersey?

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  1. You can try Milano Gourmet on the corner or 3rd and 89th and see if it's up to your standards.


    1. Geee..I always thought their (Agata and Valentina) mozzarella was pretty decent and I consider myself quite fussy about this particular product. Not up to Joe's standards but not all that far behind. They make it fresh and do not refrigerate..what would be more artisanal about the process at another place? Unfortunately I cannot think of a better place for mozzarella on the UES. For the pork you can go to Espositos on Ninth Avenue.

      1 Reply
      1. re: erica

        Try Arthur Avenue Market in the Bronx...everything you need.

      2. I understand your desire to find artisanship. However, I lived on the UES for six years, across the street from Grace's. The quality of the food at both Grace's and Citerella is excellent. I live in the burbs now and would love to have a butcher, fish monger or cheese shop as good as G's or C's. For starters, you will not find a better fish monger than citerella anywhere on the UES. My butcher of choice was Grace's (great beef, lamb and veal, but pricey). And the cheese selection at G's is also outstanding. As another poster stated, there is an italian deli at 89th and 3rd. Give Citerella and Grace's a chance.

        6 Replies
        1. re: elizabean

          We've lived on the UES for 20 years, and, as a Brooklyn Italian kid, long ago gave up any plan to discover small, "artisanal" providers. However: Citarella is by far the finest fishmonger around, at any scale, and if you cannot find acceptable Italian products at Agata, you'll need to come up here to Arthur Avenue or head to Bensonshurst. Milano is a distant choice. Simple facts: there is no free-standing salumeria, pasticceria, or paneficio anywhere in the nabe. But we manage.

          1. re: obob96

            Agreed (other than the part about being a Brooklyn Italian kid!).

            1. re: obob96

              Thanks to everyone - but yours was the perfect answer!!

              1. re: TPerri

                I also am not a huge fan of Agata's mozz. I once saw them making it early one morning and was somewhat surprised to see them cutting up a big block of commercial mozzarella to start their own "homemade" balls. (Admittedly, I don't know anything about the process.) I buy mozzarella from Ottomanelli's butcher shop on 82nd and York and it's surprisingly fresh and good. It's unsalted, but obviously you can put it in salt water yourself. I live across the street from Otto's and am very happy with the quality of their meat. For fish I go to Dorian's on York and 83rd -- expensive but very fresh.

                1. re: akk

                  There's no nice way to say this, but the spanish teenager A & V had making the mozz two Sundays ago was not who I was expecting to see and I doubt he is experienced - this is an art!! The mozz was not moist when cut and had no flavor. Frankly, it was bad. The achilles heel of the UES is italian deli's!!

                  1. re: akk

                    Do they (Ottomanelli's) make their own mozzarella and keep it unrefrigerated?

            2. Head to 60th and 1st for a great italian hero at Dominicks. For everything else head to Arthur Ave.