21 Bedford Street
Soon there may be more panini in New York than in all of Italy, including some exemplary morsels at new enotecas like the super-stylish Bar Veloce in the East Village and the sublimely tranquil Il Posto Accanto in Alphabet City, as well as the uptown paninoteche Terramare and Via Quadronno. Eighteen-month-old ‘ino, however, still gets the nod for best overall panini bar. Owners Jason Denton and Jennifer Gripenberg have that whole Italian between-meals-snacking philosophy down to a tee, and they’re not even Italian. Simplicity is their mantra. Their panini, tramezzini, and bruschetta are little masterpieces of bold flavor and satisfying texture, and their handsome, cozy room is tiny but never so crowded that it doesn’t allow for lingering over several sandwiches or a bottle from a list of good Italian wines (also available by the glass and half-bottle). And unlike so many others, they pull a good shot of espresso.
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