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Casa Mono or Torrisi Italian Specialties?

s
steakrules85 Oct 25, 2011 11:22 AM

Narrowed it down to these two for my next meal. I've been waiting for the gnocchi and Island duck with mulberry mustard to be on the menu at Torrisi on the same night and guess what? It is tonight!

Casa Mono's latest Fall menu looks incredibly awesome to me as well. If I go there I plan on sitting at the bar to watch the cooks work their magic in the open kitchen.

Both have their drawbacks- Torrisi's no rezzie, wait outside until 6 pm policy. Casa Mono has been rumored to have surly service. Both are great food options but as usual having trouble choosing which one!

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Casa Mono
52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

Torrisi Italian Specialties
250 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

  1. s
    steakrules85 Oct 28, 2011 08:52 PM

    Just as an FYI to everybody I went to Casa Mono tonight (mostly because I was sorely disappointed at TS and needed to get it out of my head) and had a wonderful meal.

    The food was incredible and not oversalted like some said. Also didn't have any of the lacking or nasty service that I heard the detractors bring up. It actually turned out to be one if the better meals I had in NYC this year. I paid twice as much, however gladly since I enjoyed the meal 20 times more than Torrisi. Full review and details of what I ordered will be posted later on.

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    Casa Mono
    52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

    2 Replies
    1. re: steakrules85
      r
      RGR Oct 29, 2011 11:31 AM

      Glad to hear you had an excellent meal at Casa Mono, steak. Curious, of course, as to whether you had any of the dishes we've had, so I look forward to reading your review. :)

      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

      1. re: RGR
        j
        jcooper Oct 30, 2011 10:05 AM

        You can go sit in Bar Jamon, next door to Casa Mono, and have some wine and small plates while waiting for a table to open up. If you don't finish your wine, they will move it over to Casa Mono for you (apparently there are some crazy City rules that need to be followed, but they take care of it). We did this a month or two ago and loved it. We've never been anything but impressed with Casa Mono. Torissi -- it was a nice meal and decently priced, but I I don't need to go back.

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        Casa Mono
        52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

        Bar Jamon
        125 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

        Torrisi Italian Specialties
        250 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

    2. s
      Simon Oct 25, 2011 02:47 PM

      If by see the cooks "work their magic" you mean see them "throw handfuls of Kosher salt on every dish" then u wont be disappointed.

      I live nearby. I'll be the guy walking home past Casa Mono happy and full after sushi at 15 East :)

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      15 East
      15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

      Casa Mono
      52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

      11 Replies
      1. re: Simon
        l
        ladybugthepug Oct 25, 2011 02:57 PM

        So thaaaaaat's how it's done. I'll these years and I had no idea. I might be going out on a limb here, but you're not a fan?

        1. re: ladybugthepug
          s
          Simon Oct 25, 2011 03:14 PM

          I've found the food hit or miss, usually somewhere between slightly oversalted to inedibly oversalted, and not remotely authentic (which wouldnt matter as much if i liked it otherwise). But my main problem is with the rude service and general passive-aggressive nastiness -- not everytime, sometimes its been actually civil, but often enough that i'll never return, despite loving Spanish food and wine, and living a hundred yards away.

          1. re: Simon
            l
            ladybugthepug Oct 25, 2011 03:25 PM

            What were some of the hits and misses?

            1. re: ladybugthepug
              s
              Simon Oct 25, 2011 03:32 PM

              Its been quite a while: i remember liking the octopus salad with grapefruit, while finding one of the fried seafood dishes (sardines?) inedibly salty after one bite. But really the bad attitude there overshadows everything. A few months ago, after returning to NYC from overseas, i figured i'd give it another shot: i walked in at 2:45 on a Tuesday and found the host so over the top rude that i walked out before being seated.

              1. re: Simon
                l
                ladybugthepug Oct 25, 2011 05:13 PM

                Interesting. I'll be interested in hearing - if we get a report back - what Steakrules85's take is. I find it's generally not a good thing to piss people off BEFORE they've been seated.

                1. re: ladybugthepug
                  s
                  steakrules85 Oct 25, 2011 08:10 PM

                  So the good news is that i took a chance and actually got a table at Torrisi. The bad news is that it did not live up to expectations.

                  I'll post the review with all the details. The gist of it is the food wasn't great, portions were small, seating was cramped, and service while friendly was a bit disorganized.

                  1. re: steakrules85
                    r
                    RGR Oct 25, 2011 08:21 PM

                    Yes, those expectations can sometimes let you down. That's why I've learned to always keep them in check.

                    Looking forward to reading your full review.

                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                    1. re: steakrules85
                      s
                      Simon Oct 25, 2011 09:55 PM

                      Amusingly, at 15 East tonight, one of my fellow sushi bar diners was one of the chef/owners at Torrisi...

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                      15 East
                      15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                      1. re: Simon
                        s
                        steakrules85 Oct 26, 2011 07:37 AM

                        Thats cool. Maybe he should have been at his restaurant in the kitchen though lol.

            2. re: ladybugthepug
              s
              Simon Oct 25, 2011 03:24 PM

              I think Casa Mono especially annoys me because i like Spanish food and small dark restaurants and Irving Pl so much that its a wasted opportunity that CM has all those three things yet ruins those fine foundations for a restaurant by following the Batali-formula for tourist cuisine paired with rude service. My dream is that CM and Tia Pol magically trade locations.

            3. re: Simon
              r
              RGR Oct 25, 2011 03:02 PM

              I am very salt-sensitive and did not find any of the food we had over-salted.

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

            4. r
              RGR Oct 25, 2011 12:42 PM

              steak,

              Mr. R. and I just had another superb lunch at Casa Mono this past Friday.

              Casa Mono photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157627961947668/

              However, though we haven't been to Torrisi, I agree with those who have recommended that you go there rather than to C.M. because, as you said, the two dishes you want are being served tonight, and that might not happen again.

              Enjoy!

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              2 Replies
              1. re: RGR
                s
                steakrules85 Oct 25, 2011 12:45 PM

                Hey there RGR long time no see/speak. As usual, the pics are terrific and just makes the decision that much harder.

                My greatest fear is that I get to Torrisi and can't get the first seating. I really don't have the luxury of just sitting around to wait for the next available table.

                Will that being said, I think I am probably going to Casa Mono tonight because it is a safer bet. Torrisi is definitely on the agenda though for a future date and I will keep monitoring the menu.

                Thanks for the pics we will talk soon.

                -----
                Casa Mono
                52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: steakrules85
                  r
                  RGR Oct 25, 2011 01:03 PM

                  Thanks for the compliment, steak! Given your commuting situation, I can certainly understand why don't want to chance Torrisi.

                  We've had both pleasant and surly-ish service at Casa Mono. This time it was the latter. More than the service issue, though, the thing I hate about going there is the extremey tight seating. But the food really is wonderful.

                  We will definitely talk soon. :)

                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              2. l
                ladybugthepug Oct 25, 2011 11:38 AM

                Is it 6? Or is it different on the weekend? I'm not certain, but I thought I remembered it being like 5 or 5:30, but that was a Saturday I think. Just want to know for my own reference. BTW, I'd go to Torrisi, I love their gnocchi (and I'm generally not a fan). Torrisi and Vetri are my two favorite gnocchi.

                1. k
                  kathryn Oct 25, 2011 11:26 AM

                  Go to Torrisi. Casa Mono's menu doesn't change nearly as quickly.

                  Get there early. Torrisi will sometimes run out of something and change the menu mid-service.

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                  Casa Mono
                  52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: kathryn
                    s
                    steakrules85 Oct 25, 2011 11:43 AM

                    If I got there tonight at 5:30 to be seated at 6pm do you think I would have a problem? I assume if I got seated at the first seating at 6pm I would get the dishes that I want (gnocchi and duck).

                    1. re: steakrules85
                      l
                      ladybugthepug Oct 25, 2011 12:22 PM

                      My wife says they came out at 5:30 to take names and times. If you were hell bent on getting the 6pm and didn't want to risk it (it is a nice day out), I'd get there at 5:10 to 5:15. As I remember the line started to stack up about 15 minutes before they came out. Let us know how it goes.

                      1. re: ladybugthepug
                        b
                        Barcelonian Oct 26, 2011 07:46 AM

                        I'd If you are going solo, you might have an easier time since they have 3 bar stools at the counter area that they save for "single local diners." I agree that you should be there before 5:15. If you weren't going alone, I'd say to be there by 5 at the latest (4:45 on weekends). The line gets long and if you aren't one of the first few when they start taking names at 5:30, you won't get in at the time you want (or sometimes at all)

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