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Sep 2, 2013 12:24 PM

Torrisi no longer offers the extended 20 course tasting menu? Are the lunch and dinner menus now just as good?

I just got off the phone with a Torrisi Italian Specialties reservationist and was told that they no longer offer the longer, approx. 16-20 course, tasting menu. Has anyone heard about this or why? I know that months ago they moved away from the New York homage courses.

So, just to confirm, are the lunch and dinner menus basically the same now? (with the dinner simply being $10 more) Has anyone had both lunch and dinner there recently? I've read a lot of reviews of the regular menu and opinions seem mixed.

I'm thinking I should go to Marea instead for dinner since my friend loves seafood, and just do Torrisi for lunch. I'm also going to probably do Babbo and Del Posto for lunches, so I'd welcome any thoughts on that or what to order at any of these places (my other lunch companions have been ruined by the pasta in Emilia-Romagna).

I know there are lots of other favorites on this board and elsewhere, so I'd be open to other options for lunch and dinner too.

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  1. Wow, I thought you were joking, but it's not mentioned on their website as well. It's $70 for lunch and $80 for dinner.

    I'm a fan of Marea. Also, I assume you're fine with 4 Italian restaurants (I assume within a short time period)?

    4 Replies
    1. re: deepfry7

      Yeah, it's a lot of Italian and while I will be in and around New York for 11 days, I'm coming from San Francisco where we have a couple pretty good options. But I spent a summer after college backpacking around Italy and I dream of retiring to somewhere in the North...or maybe the Amalfi coast.

      I'm probably going to be having a lunch meeting at Lincoln too, and could end up giving in and seeing what the hype is about at Il Buco Alimentari. Locanda Verde, Esca and Perla are on my radar too, but I just don't know how to fit them in...should I make one or more work? (I'm monitoring icorem's other thread on these today)

      Thanks for the recommendation on Marea too. Any particular dishes I should make sure we try?

      I'll post my whole provisional itinerary with specific questions once I have finalized my scheduled and research.

      1. re: W42

        Popular dishes are:

        1. sea urchin and lardo crostini
        2. lobster and burrata anitpasti
        3. crab and sea urchin spaghetti (menu says garganelli now)
        4. octopus and bone marrow fusilli

        1. re: deepfry7

          Definitely the fusilli with braised octopus and bone marrow.
          The Dover Sole is fantastic ( it's for 2 though)

    2. Apparently changes at Torrisi are effective immediately. $100 for lunch and dinner and a receptionist just told me there is now no choice on the menu and "an extra amuse-bouche" (though the link below claims there will be 1-3 more "courses").

      I have a reservation in a month and will report back afterwards and about Marea.

      1 Reply
      1. re: W42

        Okay, to report back briefly: I went to Torrisi for dinner and was happy with their $100 menu. Simply put, every course was pretty tasty. The vitello tonnato was not as good as the Del Posto version I had for lunch that same day, but I like the Torrisi version much better than the one at Lincoln later in the week.

        Not the best meal I had in New York in the past couple of weeks (that would be Brooklyn Fare), but I thought $100 was a fair price. For what it's worth, I was told that they will be a launching another much longer tasting menu option, probably about a week from now or so.

        As for Marea, my friends and I covered over half of the menu by sharing, including all the suggestions above. The general sense ranged around "fine but forgettable" (crudos) and "good but not great." I don't mean to sound down on Marea, to be honest it was probably as good as Torrisi, and I could see it being a reliable option if I had a guest who liked Italian, but it wouldn't be my top choice (I think that would probably be Del Posto maybe followed by Babbo).

        In particular, I wasn't as wowed by the fusilli with octopus and bone marrow given how high my expectations were, but like everything else, it was satisfying. The salt cod for two wasn't noticeably better than much cheaper versions I've had in fishing villages from Turkey to Malaysia. Similarly, there was nothing wrong with bistecca from Creekstone Farms but it was nowhere near the best bistecca in Tuscany or other great steaks I've had. If anything, we all agreed the best dish was the snails appetizer.