All’antico Vinaio Pop-up

Have you noticed lines outside Otto in the West Village for the last couple weeks? It’s had people wondering. I know this because yesterday, I waited in this very line and had a million people ask me what I was waiting for. When they learned it was all for a sandwich, they were quite surprised.

All’antico Vinaio is a pretty famous sandwich shop in Florence. I didn’t go while I was there, but thanks to this month-long partnership I’ve now gotten to try the renowned focaccia sandwiches.

The restaurant opens at noon so we got in line at 11 AM…and already we were the 67th and 68th people in line. They handed out menus to the people waiting in line so I was able to strategize when it came to ordering. I couldn’t decide between two of them so I got both. It was a Sunday and I just came from a killer workout so I deserved this. (Note: there’s a limit of 2 sandwiches per customer.)

My two picks: the La Boss (prosciutto, pecorino cream, and truffle cream) and L’Inferno (porchetta, nduja, grilled eggplant, and arugula). The bar area is open for seating, but Jourdan and I decided to take our sandwiches to Washington Square Park (directly across the street) because it was such a beautiful day. If you don’t want to eat gourmet Italian sandwiches while bathing in sunshine in one of New York’s most beautiful parks, you’re crazy.

The focaccia has a nice sheen of olive oil on the top so it’s very flavorful even without being dotted with fresh herbs. While it wasn’t too thick, I decided to rip of the top layer and fold it over…I did order two sandwiches, after all. While I was probably more excited about the Inferno, I ended up preferring the Boss. I’m a big nduja fan, but it overpowered the flavor of the delicate porchetta, which was sliced very thin. I did really like the eggplant in there, though. Good sandwich, but it was the Boss that really wowed me. The combo of the pecorino and truffle creams. Wow. It was a really really good sandwich. Is 1.5+ hours a long time to wait for a sandwich? Perhaps. I certainly wouldn’t do it in the winter, but I didn’t find myself complaining while I was chomping on Italian goodness in the park yesterday.