If someone were to ask me (and why shouldn’t they, I’m always hungry) what my favorite type of cuisine is, chances are my answer would be Italian. The diverse and fresh ingredients made in the assortment of dishes within its culinary repertoire are always at the top of my taste buds, palate and so much more when it comes to coming in hungry and leaving pleasantly full. Granted, we live in the best city in the world for this type of cuisine and many others, so I jump at any opportunity when it comes to reviewing the latest and greatest in all things Italian cuisine. I got to experience that, and so much more, this past Friday night at the delightful and wonderfully tasty Obica Mozzarella Bar, located in the heart of the Flatiron district on Broadway between 22nd and 21st street.
Although this location of Obica is quite new, it isn’t the first to grace its presence in New York City with its food, drink and décor. Their Madison Avenue location has been around for quite some time, and they also have locations outside of New York City in Los Angeles, Italy, The United Kingdom, Japan and Dubai. Pretty amazing, if I must say so myself. The Flatiron location still has that new look and smell to it upon arrival, as it reads like an elegant bar and restaurant should, given the menu preparation of both food and drink. The bar greets you right as you walk in, whereas the restaurant portion is towards the back and also includes some al fresco options right outside. With its rich vibe felt throughout, Obica sets the mood for a wonderful Friday night dinner with friends and family due to its lush usage of the lighter shades of brown throughout, dim lighting, and so much more to really enhance the experience.
The food was out of this world fantastic. Nothing me or my friend had that night was bad, in any way possible. Although I am not much of a drinker, it is always good to start a meal off like this with a tasty cocktail to enjoy with the company that is present. They have fabulous options from Classic Italian, Martinis, Muddles and Long Drinks to satisfy your drink palate. Some great options include their Negroni (Beefeater Gin, Campari Bitter, Vermouth del Professore), which my friend obsessed over, and their Viaggio (Beefeater Gin, Kiwi, Passion Fruit, Cane Syrup). Two great starters for what turned out to be an amazing meal.
Now, let’s get to my favorite part of any day or meal- the food. Obica’s dinner menu reads like a who’s who of what is best in Italian cuisine. Let’s break down each part of their menu and give you what we think you should try the next time you are there. Their Mozzarella bar provides mozzarella from the best barns in the world, ensuring that each bite has an authentic and fresh taste as you consume how delicious it really is. Out of the four listed, the one that we tried was their Bufala Affumicata, which was naturally smoked. It gave the cheese a firmness about it as well as some heat, and for it being not that big of a piece of mozzarella really made up for it in taste and execution. Great way to start the meal.
Their small plates consist of four categories- Salumi (cold cuts made from pork), Pesci (fishes), Verdure (vegetables), and Caldi (hot starters). Let’s break down each, as they all had their specialties. For Salumi, a classic Prosciutto Crudo di Parma DOP, which is Air-Cured 24-Month Aged Pork, is a great choice, as let’s face it… it’s Prosciutto. You can definitely taste so many elements that make up this dish, that also make it great sharable option during a dinner for two. We didn’t try anything from the Pesci category, but for Verdure, the standout for all of these categories was their Carciofini, which is their roasted marinated artichokes. One of my favorite dishes to order at any Italian restaurant, Obica really nailed it on the head with the flavor extraction from the artichoke itself that made this a must have when you visit. To round up in their Caldi, keep it classic and get the Bruschette. No explanation needed, it’s simply great.
For their salads and soups, not to sound repetitive, but classic again is the best option with their Caprese Classic, that is adorned with fresh and tasty mozzarella mixed with colorful tomatoes for you to enjoy separate or together. I really loved their soup which was Zuppa di Zucca, Squash Soup with fresh herbs and Goat Cheese. A good balance of not being too thin or too thick, with the aromatic herbs surrounding the tasty goat cheese and squash all in one great bowl. I was in a pizza kind of mood that night, and had my dreams fulfilled with their Salsiccia e Peperoni– Bell Peppers, Sausage, Smoked Mozzarella di Bufala. HEAVENLY! Such a great combination, not only for pizza but for a ton of dishes, yet this really worked on a pizza level. I really enjoyed it and would go back just for that as it was such a highlight of the evening. They also have some great pasta options available, one that we tried that really struck our fancy was their Schiaffoni di Gragnano– Paccheri Pasta with Tomato Sauce, Basil, Mozzarella di Bufala. Very tasty and definitely finished the spot.
No matter how full you are, there is always room for dessert. We recommend the following, although all were great. The Torta di Capri (Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake, Fior di Latte Ice Cream) and Crema di Ricotta (Ricotta di Bufala Cream, Honey, Candied Orange Peel, Pine Nuts). Both sweet and delicious ways to end an already fab meal. Don’t just take our word for it. For more information on Obica Mozzarella Bar, check out their official site.