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Not all sandwich shops have a chef. But Walter Momente brings Alidoro, which means "golden wings," to another level, creating not mere sandwiches but bread-bound showcases of Italian finery.
He sources impeccable ingredients, hand-selecting the best loaves from several bakeries and importing superior authentic Italian products, like the stellar grilled artichokes that crown the Enzo ($12). Otherwise, his crew makes it all themselves, crafting supple sun-dried tomatoes, bright with the tang of summer, a sweet, mild eggplant caponata and, best of all, the addictive marinated hot peppers. Not merely spicy, they add a tangy, zesty vegetal note with heat that's both latent and evanescent: It begins to dissipate just in time for the next bite. That's a good thing, because these sandwiches are big.
The Gregorio ($13.50) is an incendiary compilation of hotness, from the sopressata to the peppers to the hot spread, just barely tamed by a milky layer of mozzarella. The Romeo ($11.50) will woo you with smoked chicken breast so rosy and flavorful it'll make you rethink categorizing poultry as a generic filler. Vegetarians can find solace in a pizza-evoking Monica ($12), featuring meaty portobella mushrooms and ripe gorgonzola along with those tender sun-dried tomatoes. The menu is long and might appear redundant, but slight variations on ingredients create vastly different outcomes. There are salads and a daily soup, too, and even a delicious Nutella-and-cannoli-cream-filled homemade doughnut ($4.50), but the sandwiches are the stars. Though they might seem pricey for heroes, you’ll be sated with just half and have the remainder to look forward to once your appetite returns the next day. And at that point, you will definitely want more.
BY: TIME OUT COMMUNITY REVIEWER DEBORAH FENKER
18 E 39th St
|Cross street:||between Fifth and Madison Aves|
|Transport:||Subway: S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St–Grand Central|
|Price:||$15 and under. AmEx, MC, V.|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 8am-4pm|
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