food 08.6.03


Some of the best Italian food in New York City is in a Bronx warehouse.

Esperya, 1715 West Farms Road [173rd/174th] 718.860.2949,, imports carefully chosen regional foods from Italy. (The website warns: "if you believe that all pasta is the same and that Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano taste alike, exit now"). You'll get great info on the site as well as evocative descriptions of the products:

"Pop open a jar of Organic Piennolo Vine Tomatoes from Vesuvius, bring it up to your nose, and close your eyes…you can't help but envisage — as if in a piece of neorealist film footage — old aunts and grannies, country folk, in the process of preparing this marvelous conserve, richly colored, aromatic, flavorful, ready to take on all other tomato preserves." You'll also find cheese, olive oils, pasta, preserves, and less familiar delicacies such as lampascioni (wild hyacinth bulbs).

There is overnight delivery to anywhere in the U.S., but Esperya also has 'warehouse Fridays', which means that they're open to the public from 9-5 on Fridays. Call ahead, place your order, and then pick it up. Not only will you save on shipping, you might be invited for a cup of coffee by the charming staff.

We've been fans of the Denton clan ever since they opened 'ino on Bedford Street. Then came Lupa, still one of our favorites in the city. Now there's 'inoteca, 98 Rivington [Ludlow] 212.614.0473, a super-sized version of 'ino, complete with the family's usual warm vibe.

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