49 East 19th Street, 212-780-0577
Before Craft’s Tom Colicchio opened his industrial-chic sandwich shop, the between-the-bread category was quickly becoming overstuffed and uninspired. Not any more. From the breakfast fried egg and bacon on ciabatta, enriched with Gorgonzola and leavened with frisée, to the briny Sicilian tuna with its fresh fennel crunch and tart lemon slivers, ’Wichcraft’s sandwiches are masterpieces of bold flavor and balanced texture. The sultry melted ooze of Fontina with black-trumpet mushrooms and white-truffle fondue is such a grown-up grilled cheese, you should be carded at the door. Rich, loose-knit meat loaf, lavished with melted Cheddar and bacon, is just like Mom never made. As the seasons change, so does the selection: Summer heralds the return of local tomatoes and Colicchio’s killer BLT, not to mention pastry chef Karen DeMasco’s ice-cream-and-cookie concoctions. They’ve made their point: Life’s too short to eat a mediocre sandwich.
Best Sophisticated Sandwich
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).