Torrisi

I came here with my wife and her cousin for the ten course $100 price fix meal.

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It’s tough to get a rez here because it is such a tiny spot; very few tables:

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The ladies had a sparkling rose, and I tried three different beers, which seemed to pair nicely with the meal as I went through the courses. My favorite was the white rascal belgian style white ale.

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So here’s how shit went down in terms of food:

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Amuse:
Beggar’s purse with housemade buffalo mozzarella, tied up with chive string and filled with trout roe and crispy bread crumbs. This was a great, briny bite. I could pop these in my mouth like snacks all night.

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One:
Squash macchiato with brown butter and bay leaf apple cider and mulled spices. This was a great little shot of liquid, like a tea, or consommé soup.

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Two:
Japanese abalone sous vide with pickled and charred celery, hazelnut purée and chopped hazelnuts. This was really refreshing and delicate. I was wishing I had a huge bowl of it instead of a little salsa or french onion dip sized dish.

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Three:
East coast Blue crab in gelee minestrone with squash, preserved tomatoes, green beans, bread crumbs, black beans and basil pistou. I hardly had any crab in my serving, but otherwise it was pretty good. It was more like a salad than a soup for sure, due to the gelee technique used.

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Four:
The “mixed grill” course had a few components. First was a Rhode Island oyster with dill, smokey grilled cherry mignonette and fresh ground horseradish. This was an excellent bite. By far one of the better dishes served.

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Then came a trumpet royal/king mushroom “mille feuille in terrine” (lots of thin slices) that was seared in foie gras butter and topped with sea salt flakes. My favorite of the night. It was meaty, fatty, and packed with flavor. Wonderful texture too – nice crunch and bite to it on the edges, yet it was still soft like a mushroom at the same time.

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The last part of the mixed grill was a veal terrine made with tongue, tail, sweetbreads and carrot sausage with pickled fennel salad and smoked brioche pretzels. There were three mustards too: Bavarian, fig, and nectar. My favorite was the nectar. Since there were three of us dining, I was sort of hoping we would each get a slice of terrine. Not the case. I think it is usually one slice per two guests, so we did get a little more than what is typically served. Still not quite enough in my opinion.

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Five:
East coast diver scallop with super thinly sliced white and matsutaki mushrooms in a marsala bouillon with sliced chives. It sat on a nice display of bay leaf and crushed scallop shells. This was really pretty, and also tasty. The scallop was perfectly cooked and then sliced sashimi style.

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Six:
Scottish salmon tartare filled cannelloni with salmon roe, basil, crispy shallots and Meyer lemon zest. This was a great little log of pasta. I’ve never had salmon with pasta before, so it was a great surprise for me.

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Seven:
Sheep’s milk gnocchi with chestnut, chives and brown butter ragu with shallots and pecorino. This was a sweet pillow of pasta. Dessert pasta, almost. Very well done though.

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Eight:
Squab cacciatore skin-on breast with mulberry and walnut dumpling and juniper berry and walnut sauce. This was reminiscent of a duck dish. Perfectly executed breast and a great sweet yet savory sauce.

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Palate Cleanser:
Lemon ginger Italian ice. The ginger really gave it a great spicy kick. Loved it.

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Coffee:
Espresso for me, cappuccino for the ladies.

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Nine:
Whipped ricotta cheesecake with finger lime graham cracker dusting and olive oil, served in eggshells that sat on a porcelain rabbit’s ass area. Nice presentation. Great bite of cheesecake here. Very soft and creamy.

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Ten:
Italian rainbow/tricolor almond/orange sponge cake with chocolate ganache, almond slivers and custard. This was quintessential Italian. The back of the slice was the tricolor cookie/cake. It was beautiful, but not my type of dessert per se. Again I was expecting a third slice here since we were three diners. But again I think the regular portion is one slice for two diners. In this case it was enough for the three of us since none of us particularly loved this dish.

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So that’s about it. I liked the meal very much, but I felt it was a bit expensive for the small portion sizes (despite it being a ten course tasting menu I was still hungry afterwards). That said, I doubt I’d come back unless it was for some sort of special event. Here’s the bill for three people:

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We were sent home with a little box of desserts as well. Nice touch. Out of the items listed on the paper, my favorite was the spicy mango gumdrop thing.

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TORRISI IS CLOSED

2 thoughts on “Torrisi”

  1. I haven’t been there post Parm, post Carbone, post Dirty French, but remember the old days when they were still hocking sandwiches mid-day, both Torrisi and Carbone were there behind the cold case, and they took no reservations for the prix fixe that cost $45 a head. Those were the days and it was awesome, then.

    Looks like I need to revisit. Been planning on for a while, but their game just looks absolutely on some other planet than what they were doing before.

    p.s. the tiny pastries they give you at the end is what they served for dessert long ago. Hands down best Italian flag cookie I’ve ever eaten.

    1. Let me know what you think when you do get a chance to go back. I was very happy with the meal (quality of food and taste), but felt it was a little too expensive and I still kinda went home hungry. Definitely glad I did it, but might not want to go back.

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