In recent years it seems like nearly every young chef has his own charcuterie program, and a board of cured meats became as common as a bread basket. But who really does it best? Here is the meat elite.
For many years the final word in Italian cured meats, Salumeria may have been surpassed by a handful of restaurants and stores (Eataly and Salumeria Rosi are two) but it's still one of the best producers in the country.
Mario Batali's flagship hasn't lost its fastball; its vivid, ballsy take on Italian food continues to constantly change and impress.
Truth to tell, many of the old-time Arthur Avenue operations aren't really that great anymore. That isn't true of the Calabria Pork Store, a true sausage-fest that produces some of the most expertly-made and pungent salumi in New York.
All the classic bistro dishes are done here to perfection, as you might expect, but the real draw are the genius charcuterie creations of Sylvan Gasdon.
Hands down, this is the greatest gourmet market New York has ever seen. Its restaurants aside, the meat counter, the cheese and salumi sections, and the vast pasta selection put the place in a class all its own.
It's rare that a sequel surpasses the original, but Alimentari is the Road Warrior of restaurants, an expanded and improved tribute to rustic italian food that is bigger, better, and more ambitious than its original. The salumi by itself is worth coming for, but stay for the porchetta and short ribs.