330 W. Broadway, nr. Grand St. 212-226-8111
When he opened his Soho sandwich shop Salumè last summer, Milanese expat Michele Colombo said what he thought needed to be said: that New Yorkers don’t know squat about Italian sandwiches. Smooshing something in a sandwich press, he proclaimed, does not a panino make. That seemingly innocuous act, to Signor Colombo, is somehow outrageous, like wearing sweatpants to Le Bernardin. Whether you agree with the man or not, you have to admit that Salumè makes a mighty fine sandwich. The custom-baked rolls are gently toasted and slicked with good olive oil but never pressed, so as not to sully the flavors of the fillings. The cured meats are shaved to order on a jaunty Berkel slicer. Of the 24 combinations, our current favorite is the Cernobbio—prosciutto cotto, Gorgonzola, and house-roasted red peppers—a master work of bold flavor and crafty proportion. Most convincing of all is the name of Salumè’s head paninaro: If you can’t trust Giuseppe Bologna to make an authentic panino, who can you trust?