Originally founded in Soho under the name Melampo, this upscale Italian sandwich shop has remained in business since 1986 because of its tastefully curated flavor profile. The meats are all high quality, the seven different kinds of bread are sourced from five different bakeries, and Walter Momente, a native of Italy who took over 2001, carefully composes the forty sandwich combinations.
In answer to popular demand, this second location was opened in 2015 with Tommy Polihronopoylos as transformative builder, Jon Streep on the business side, and, of course, Walter Momente on the food front. Hanging mason jars, clean-cut wooden surfaces, glazed Venetian tiles, and wall plants give a sweet and rustic vibe to the authentic shop. And, unlike the smaller original location, this spot has had the luxury of seating, drinks, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches.
The Alidoroli, a donut-Cannoli hybrid with a spongy outside and ricotta cheese and cream filling, has gained a strong following. The breakfast sandwiches, served hot, feature poached eggs, and sitting down with an espresso is a joy not to be overlooked. Though these new additions add to the experience, the sandwich remains the star. If not for the Romeo, an affair of smoked chicken breast, hot peppers, bel paese cheese, and arugula, Jon Streep may never have joined the team.
“I fell in love with that sandwich in 2003,” Jon expressed. One of his favorite parts of his job is seeing the people’s expressions as they try an Alidoro sandwich for the first time. I had the pleasure of seeing my friend’s excitement just after he had delighted in the Alidoro - a beautiful mess of prosciutto, hot and sweet peppers, mushrooms, fennel, spicy spread, and arugula, only partially clad by two slices of Italian hero style bread. The next day he went back for more, tempting me to do the same.
Jonathan Boyarsky, fourth generation owner, has found himself a terrific niche on 39th by being one of the only menswear shops to remain on the ground floor. Over the years, he watched as companies moved upstairs into offices in the garment district, or even overseas, but he chose to remain where people could easily spot him. Although he feels that he has remained "under the radar," at times, when people come in they are "ecstatic" with what he has to offer. His family began their men's clothing business on the Lower East side back in 1919. Over the years, members of the family spread out and opened related businesses offering either custom made shirts, suits or fabrics. At No. 257, Jonathan has combined it all. He describes it as "double dipping." They used to sell only the fabric and then send people elsewhere to have their clothing made. Today, within the three floors of space at Fabric Czar, customers can select from some of the finest cloths, and then meet first class tailor, Steven Tabak, of Beckenstein Bespoke, where their clothing is designed...and, everything is constructed on the premises. "We are one stop shopping, whatever a customer needs, we can make it for them." And for Jonathan, it is only about quality craftsmanship.
There are intriguing spaces sprinkled throughout the city that invite corporations to utilize their facilities, but stepping inside Offsite is a unique experience designed specifically for the business meeting clientele. The brainchild of Patrick Everett and Shawn Kessler, they have created a stunning turnkey facility where all day conferences can be held. Companies are invited to bring their employees together for a productive 9am-5pm meeting in the three levels of fully equipped space, which can then be flipped effortlessly into an appropriate venue for an evening event. The rooms are configured so that some forty people are able to sit around one gigantic table or be rearranged into smaller units. Attendees never have to feel confined to one space, as they can move around freely on each floor, dividing up into smaller breakout sessions, when necessary. The rooms are versatile and technology oriented, fully outfitted with AV equipment - as Patrick referred to it, "plug and play." Endless pens and pads, drinks and snacks, including large jars of enticing candy, are provided throughout the day. The partners have paid attention to every detail, taking into consideration exactly what they believe their clients will require, including a small executive office that allows for a private phone conversation and a myriad of white walls that are actually whiteboards. Offsite works with some of the terrific catering facilities in the area to provide top lunches and dinners for groups, and everything is served on their attractive dishes. While being given a tour, Patrick told me that he had been an event planner. When he discovered that there was something important missing in the corporate world, he found his niche. As he began to imagine the possibilities, he worked diligently on his concept with Shawn. Basically all one has to do is book the space, and the rock star team at Offsite will handle the rest.