A bit of Firenze in the West Village

Yes, the hilly countrysides were pretty, and all the renaissance masterpieces were nice, but really, sometimes it’s the simplest things about living in Italy that I miss the most, like panini with just prosciutto and cheese. No condiments, no garnishes, no frills. Bread, meat, cheese. That’s it.

And as if the universe heard my internal longing (or perhaps my stomach growling) I found the place to get just that, bread, meat, and cheese, sandwiched together into blissful deliciousness.

Firenze: proscitto di Parma and mozzarella

Il Cantuccio, in the West Village and just a few blocks from my apartment, is like my boyfriend, a transplant from Tuscany, though not precisely Florence and instead nearby Prato. And what I found out when I went there this weekend, is that it’s the perfect place to get a neighborhood fix for the kind of panini I used to get in Florence. Continue reading

Best bread in North Beach

The onion focaccia at Liguria Bakery

The first time I went to Liguria Bakery in North Beach was during my first week in the city. The sign hanging in the window read “We will be closed for vacation from Aug. 2nd thru (sic) Aug. 22nd.” Well, how very Italian of them, I thought. Taking almost the entire month off. Must be nice.

I came back after August 22nd, and it was closed again. They close at noon. It was 12:25.

So I came back again another day, not sure what time it was but it was probably around 11:30 or so because I distinctly remember giving myself enough time to be there before noon. Closed again. This time because they sold out and went home for the day.

These people are really making me work for this damn focaccia, aren’t they? I thought to myself. I’m gonna come back one more time, and if they’re still not open, I’m never coming back ever again. Screw their focaccia.

So I went back. A fourth time. And finally, it was open. Continue reading