Photo: Laurie de Prete
A glass of wine makes everything better, especially when paired with fresh mozzarella. And now that heavenly pairing is available at Obika, New York City’s only mozzarella bar. A culinary oasis amidst variable midtown fare, Obika further upped the ante last week with the introduction of wines to the menu.Just as all the ingredients that have graced the dishes over the last two years are meticulously chosen, expect no less from the wines, which are carefully selected from Campagnia, Veneto, Tuscany and Puglia, to perfectly complement the classic Italian menu.
Obika‘s main attraction are the creamy balls of mozzarella di bufala DOP, handmade from water buffalo milk and flown in fresh from Campania three times a week, which can be savoured in a number of ways. The menu is singularly dedicated to mozz as the star ingredient, making Obika unique among NYC restaurants. Try samplings of the many bufala options alone or paired with the most delicate of meats in antipasti, in salads, oozing from pastas, or as dessert.
The space, dining concept and design of the bar are also unique. Built as a free standing kiosk aside the sculpture garden in the atrium of the IBM building, it has the feel of a Japanese sushi bar with glass cases proudly displaying the prized bufala and other carefully sourced ingredients. Glass walls extend the airy feel and offer a glimpse of the city from its corner on Madison and 57th street. Given the atrium environment and therefore limited kitchen resources, the extensiveness of the menu and intensity of the dishes produced are a miraculous feat — fresh and flavorful at all times, down to the espresso.
In contrast to a full sit-down restaurant, Obika’s kiosk dining experience is designed to be “fast casual,” but the quality of the menu is anything but casual. It’s popular among tourists and the local business crowd looking for the convenience of popping in for a bite as a quick respite from work or shopping.
No doubt, with the addition of wine to the menu, patrons will imbibe a bit longer and be in less of a hurry to dash off to the rest of their day.
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