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Any real italian spots in UES

TPerri Mar 2, 2008 11:59 AM

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. t
    TipsyMcStagger RE: TPerri Mar 2, 2008 12:24 PM

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


    1. erica RE: TPerri Mar 2, 2008 12:49 PM

      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
        cjfoodie RE: erica Mar 2, 2008 01:03 PM

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

      2. e
        elizabean RE: TPerri Mar 2, 2008 01:17 PM

        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
          obob96 RE: elizabean Mar 3, 2008 06:13 AM

          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
            MMRuth RE: obob96 Mar 3, 2008 06:14 AM

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

            1. re: obob96
              TPerri RE: obob96 Mar 7, 2008 06:11 AM

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

              1. re: TPerri
                akk RE: TPerri Mar 7, 2008 07:05 AM

                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
                  TPerri RE: akk Mar 8, 2008 03:48 PM

                  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
                    erica RE: akk Mar 9, 2008 11:55 AM

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

            2. jenniebnyc RE: TPerri Mar 8, 2008 07:52 PM

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

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