Mario Carbone and Jeff Zalaznick—two-thirds of the trailblazing team behind the red-sauced Parm and Carbone, plus the gritty cocktail lounge Lobby Bar and forthcoming Dirty French—are pressing specialty sandwiches during the U.S. Open beginning Monday, August 25.
“This is one of the greatest New York events of the calendar year and we’re grateful to be part of it,” Carbone says. Originally from Queens, he grew up with the event, attending for the first time as a teenager. “We were immediately drawn to taking part,” he says.
The panini are made in the Torrisi team's classic Italian style, one of which is a rare treat available exclusively for the tennis tournament. “We only break out The Godfather for the finest events,” Zalaznick says, adding that the garlic-bread–meets–grilled cheese number was originally created for The Feast of San Gennaro, the annual street fair in Little Italy celebrating the patron saint of Naples, Italy. But, he says, the Zesty Italian Combo—a hero stuffed with pepperoni, sopressata, salami, ham, mortadella and provolone cheese—is a favorite from the Parm menu.
“We chose these options because they pair well with beer,” Carbone says. “We're treating this like street food, and when you grab a sandwich on the go, the thing you want to wash it down with most is beer—it cuts the spice in the vinaigrette-laden Italian combo and the richness of the garlic bread grilled cheese.”
Find the duo at the event inside the cabana-style Heineken House on Monday and during various points throughout the match series. “There’s a good chance you’ll see Jeff grilling The Godfather sandwiches,” Carbone chuckles. “He likes to get in the mix and he considers himself a grilled cheese connoisseur.”
The Godfather, $12
Pressed garlic bread with house-made mozzarella and tomato
Zesty Italian Combo, $15
Parisi hero bread with pepperoni, sopressatta, genoa salami, ham, mortadella, provolone cheese, sweet peppers, sliced tomato, shredded iceberg lettuce and zesty Italian dressing
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Heineken