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Tuesday, November 14, 2023

#InauguralReview #Biricchino @BiricchinoNYC Since 1987 by #FouadAlsharif #MarcBuzzio and #PaulValetutti #260W29thSt #Manhattan

Triumphant Octopus
Go see our new friend Fouad Alsharif, Owner of Biricchino!
Executive Chef Pasquale Caliolo,who joined in 2013, and Fouad
Manager Gloria Torrado and Fouad
Once upon a time in the 1940s, Peter Fiorio and Ugo Buzzio (both now passed) came to Manhattan, having grown up in Curino, Italy which we understand is not too far from Switzerland and France.  Curino is in the Alps in Northern Italy, and in Piemonte there was a specialization in salami and sausage.  When Peter and Ugo arrived in Manhattan, they took over Salumeria Biellese on Eighth Avenue which began in 1925.
In 1987, Salumeria Biellese had the opportunity to open a restaurant, and Biricchino was born! We are going backwards here....Peachy has not been to the former.  Yet.
Fouad wanted us to try the variety of homemade sausage du jour.  It's gluten free and crafted literally from the freshest ingredients daily because this has been their specialty since 1925; this one shined in all its glory with chicken, sundried tomato, jalapeno and sweet italian sausage.
And if she went to New York Rangers games like she once went to Hartford Whalers games, surely it would not have taken her 14 years to discover Biricchino!  
We were delighted to work with owner Fouad Alsharif, who joined in 1991 and is married to Peter Fiorio's daughter!  Fouad owns it with Marc Buzzio (son of Ugo) and Paul Valetutti and in our first visit, this trifecta of talent proved to us they are in it to win it with their dedication to fresh, quality, local ingredients.
Obviously, they specialize in salami and sausage, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Under Insalate, we opted for two glorious salads, dressing on the side for Ms. Superpicky.  They listened.  We always are especially interested in any menu item that is named after the restaurant, because that is a clue usually that it is spectacular.  Above, meet Insalata Biricchino!  Mixed Greens, tomatoes, carrots, red onions and parmesan combine for a symphony of refreshment to ignite your appetite.  Miss summer?  You can eat summer with Insalata di Mare! Of course that means of the sea.  Sea Scallops, Calamari, Shrimp and Mussels all shone swimmingly in a bed of romaine, exultant in their primetime freshness.
Of course, if you have an Italian restaurant in Manhattan, you have got to excel in pasta and based on our two choices, Biricchino is killing it.  Intoxicatingly delicious Pappardelle ai Funghi is absolutely ravishing with shallots, pancetta, white mushrooms, olive oil and cream, all in perfect proportion.  The pasta here is handmade and it's obvious in every bite of excellence.  Even better is the Shrimp Arrabbiata with linguine in Hot Sauce and all we can say is you should be crying now that it's not your dinner this minute but now you know where to go.
The Broccoli Rabe with garlic and oil is a tremendous dose of flavor and nutrition to add to any meal and you ought to order it!
The second course is equally smashing: for the carnivorous sort, check out the Piccata di Pollo: Lemon Marinated Chicken Cutlet with Capers and a side of French Green Beans, Haricots Verts bien sur!  If this is your first visit to Whom You Know and you haven't read our 28,000 other posts, you should know we never edit pictures.  We publish the truth, and the truth is Fouad knows how to excel.  Also, we were impressed with the female staff as in many cases in fine dining we see only male staff.  Next, Pan Seared Salmon stepped up to the plate and announced its supremacy with luxurious lemon butter sauce over mixed greens.
There's zero doubt in our mind that in the entree section that the Octopus is the clearcut winner, star of the show.  On this first and only visit so far, it was the culinary equivalent of Mark Messier guaranteeing that the Rangers would win The Stanley Cup.  Its formal name is Polipo alla Griglia and it is a wonder in fragrant lemon sauce and is incredibly tender for its size.  Another clue that tells you Biricchino is among the best is how the entire piece is flawless.  Some places cut up octopus before they put it in front of you which leads us to believe it might have not been a primetime Stanley Cup winner octopus like this is (geez Fouad do you get these in Detroit?!?!)  Everyone in hockey knows that Detroit is known for their Octopus and everyone that has read us before knows of Peachy's jokes sprinkled in...but the quality here is absolutely no joke:
The Octopus probably read Messier's book because it told us that No One Wins Alone and it ordered dessert.
Passionfruit Panna cotta is ridiculously flavorful and smooth, and we believe we have never had it before!  That is really saying something.  And the Tiramisu is among the best we've had.  Finally, we bet you're wondering what Biricchino means...and of course we found out for you!  It means brat, or naughty boy...and Biricchina is the female form!  Oh what fun it is to dine at one of the coveted 60 seats and we look forward to telling you more another day.
We were impressed with Biricchino on our sole visit and we can't wait to see what they do next!

Their website says:
For the past 33 years, Biricchino has been providing the local community, sports fans, pre-theater diners and loyal customers with a seat at our family’s table. We hail from the province of Biella in Piemonte, Italy, and have been in the food business in the United States for over 90 years. Our parent company was appropriately named Salumeria Biellese when it was established in 1925. Long after, Biricchino opened its doors in 1987 to highlight the products that we hand craft at Salumeria Biellese. Here, we share our passion for the cooking traditions of Northern Italy. We source only the finest ingredients from purveyors according to our family traditions. House made cured meats are artisanally crafted using 100% all natural, locally sourced Berkshire hogs, grass-fed beef, and Amish farm raised chickens. Our kitchen features seasonal vegetables come from the Garden State of New Jersey and daily fresh breads from Sullivan Street Bakery. It has been a pleasure serving all at Biricchino, and we thank you for your patronage.
Benvenuti alla Nostra Famiglia

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