Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sandwich Fridays

While last year's early release summer Fridays yielded celebratory cheeseburgers of all shapes and sizes, this summer's theme so far has been sandwiches. Since Grubstreet's 101 Best Sandwiches list was released, I've been mapping out sandwich shops wherever my early weekend happens to take me. Last week I met a friend in the West Village, and we headed over to sandwich winner #18's establishment -- Ino.

Ah, what's not to love about the West Village? Tiny, charmingly paved narrow streets that cut through the avenues like organic growth. Tiny coffeeshops, bakeries, bars. And Ino, a cafe and wine bar that seems to specialize in bread -- most of the menu is paninis and bruschetta.

Most items have about three ingredients. Usually something simple and fresh, with enough variation to stay interesting. Like the artichoke with fennel and fontina, or cacciatorini (a type of salami) with goat cheese and black olive pesto. Not everyone knows what all the ingredients are, so they have a little cheat sheet on the back that defines everything from pancetta to mortadella.

I had the soppressata with fontina (cheese) and rucola (arugula). It was laid out thinly across two pieces of bread so crusty it cut up the roof of my mouth a little. The oozy cheese, salty meat and crusty bread kept me coming back for more anyway. It was served with a very cute and tasty little mushroom and pepper salad.

While I didn't order the recommended quattro panino, I'm finding it hard to believe that Ino ranked all the way up at #18. I'm a little curious as to why Faicco's huge soppressata didn't make the list either. Well, speculation aside, I'm glad to have experienced a small slice of the West Village the other day -- and to check another sandwich off my list.

Ino Cafe & Wine Bar
21 Bedford St (between Downing St & Houston St) 
(212) 989-5769

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