Dinner at Salumeria Rosi

Salumeria Rosi

 I am passionate about food. Obviously. But for some reason, I always get extra excited about wine bars, salumerias, tapas bars…even the cocktail hour at a wedding. Why? What do they all have in common?? Cheese, meat, variety, and deliciousness. Fortunately for me, I had the pleasure of visiting Cesare Casella's Salumeria Rosi on the UWS, and it was worth every ounce of saturated fat and sodium.

From the cured meats hanging in the window to the mildly pungent aroma of cheese lingering outside the restaurant, Salumeria Rosi beckons you to come inside and try something. So I did. I brought Rudy again to be the other taste-tester; because not only can he drink, but he's Italian too. Qualifications met. Our friendly waiter came over to take our drink orders (wine, naturally) and explain the menu. Thank god. The "cucina" menu is not very expansive, but the "salumi" side was, thus choosing the right selection became overwhelming (I take this stuff very seriously). Solution? Chef's selection of salumi, and chef's selection of cheese. Done. I lay my stomach at the mercy of the chef. As if you can't figure it out, the chef's selection means not only can you not pick anything specific, but you also don't know what you're getting until it arrives at the table. Risky to some, but I have yet to meet a cheese or meat I didn't like. Except for maybe Spam. But…pretty sure that doesn't count as meat…

The chef's selection of cheese arrives first with Grana Padano, little mountains of Parmigiano Reggiano, and slices of Pecorino Toscano. All the cheeses came with an accompaniment of some sort – onion jam with Grana Padano, carrot-ginger jam with the Pecorino, and a sweet balsamic glaze encircled the Parmigiano Reggiano (my personal favorite). My only gripe with the cheeses: not enough. I know the plates are supposed to be antipasti and therefore not excessive, but would a few extra nugs of Parmigiano Reggiano have hurt anyone?? Doubtful. 

Salumeria Rosi Cheese

The salumi selection on the other hand, was plentiful. Hooray! All the heavy hitters were in attendance: Prosciutto di Parma, Soppressata, Mortadella, Salami Finocchiona, and Salumeria Rosi's signature cooked ham, Il Parmacotto. If you're not salivating by now, I judge a little bit. The Prosciutto, Soppressata, and Il Parmacotto were my favorites; salty, slightly greasy, and oh-so-savory. Those Italians really know what to do with a dead pig.

Salumeria Rosi meat

Speaking of…we decided to order a couple dishes from the Cucina menu, and the Tuscan Spare Rib happened to be one of them. Praise Jesus this thing was good. The meat was falling off the bone, but I think the pièce de résistance here was the sauce it's cooked in: deep red, sweet and slightly spicy tomato sauce. Drool. I actually wanted to ask if they bottle that sauce because it was that good. If they do, I know what all my friends are getting for their birthdays. And they will thank me…

Salumeria Rosi rib
Tuscan Short Rib…mmm nums..

Another thing that called out to me was something called Zuppa Carbonara. Translation: Carbonara Soup. My favorite pasta in soup-form?? You don't say! I love soup, so this was a natural decision on my end; Rudy, not so much. I let him have more of the rib though, so I'd call that even. I'd break down the soup as follows.. Presentation: A. Taste: A+. Cesare Casella coming over to the table to introduce himself: A++. Sorry, I know that didn't have to do with the soup, but it made it taste better somehow…

Salumeria Rosi soup 2
Zuppa Carbonara

Seriously though, this soup was delicious; chicken broth with a poached egg inside, chives, croutons, and a large piece of crisped prosciutto sticking out of it. This was the second soup I had in a week with a poached egg in it, and in no way am I unhappy about that. I'm almost tempted to try making it myself, but I'd probably end up scrambling the eggs in the soup. Hey, not everyone can have the finesse of Cesare Casella. If we did, we wouldn't have Salumeria Rosi, and that's a world I just don't want to live in..

Salumeria Rosi
283 Amsterdam Ave (nr. 73rd st)


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