7-9-09 I'm sorry to report that Panino'teca has closed. I'm totally bummed. No more amazing Mac & Cheese, no quirky-ness and I never got to try their Brunch!!!
I find myself craving the Mac & Cheese from Paninoteca 275 every once in a while (275 Smith Street, www.paninoteca275.com, 718-237-2728, between Degraw & Sackett). It's made with Taleggio cheese and strips of Proscuitto that make for an unusual and delightful taste experience. This is the half order, which is more than enough since the dish is so rich and heavy.
It really is an amazing dish, with browned bread crumbs on top, and so many pieces of meat. If you share it and get a salad or something, is a perfect little treat. Eating a whole order would make me sick since it's so rich.
This is the mixed greens salad with goat cheese, beets and walnuts in a balsamic vinaigrette. It's huge, with so much creamy goat cheese, lots of walnuts and big chunks of beet, it feels decadent.
Paninoteca also has a nice list of special cocktails that are creative takes on the old standards. I got the "Honey Sidecar", made with Bourbon, honey & citrus. It was delicious. And strong.
They also have Menabrea beer, an Italian brew that is so good, I wonder why Peroni is the beer of choice at Italian restaurants. Menabrea is so much better. And look at that label! Gorgeous to boot. It was so dark, it was challenging to get a picture without a lot of glare. I started feeling like an annoying person with my flash, so I only took one of the bottle that came out, but you can see what I'm saying.