There’s always that one magical hole-in-the-wall eatery that everyone comes back from their vacation raving about. In the case of Florence’s beloved panini shop Antico Noè, the magic is now being shared with all of NYC.
The sandwich emporium has been feeding locals and tourists for over 70 years in an alley off the Piazza San Pier Maggiore, where Michael Grant discovered it while studying abroad. He's brought the concept to 53rd Street in Midtown East, its first location outside of Florence, with the help of longtime sandwich slinger Vinny Dautaj.
The shop is starting out with a selection of the 10 greatest hits (we recommend the #4, stuffed chicken with sauteed mushrooms, mozzarella and the shop’s famous rosé sauce), gradually expanding to all 25 sandwiches ($9.50-$13.50). Grant says 90 percent of the ingredients are imported for maximum authenticity, and they keep the bread low-salt, a Florentine tradition since the Middle Ages (because of taxes, like many quirks of history).
The small shop is largely meant to get you in and out with a hot, freshly pressed sandwich in your hands, but there are a handful of bar stools and a little counter space to linger.
220 E. 53rd St., Midtown East
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.