Opening it’s stainless steel framed windowed doors in 2008, Delicatessen has become a staple of the Soho meets Nolita area. Having visited long before I was a food writer and continuing to go back time and time since, I have a lot to rave about.
For some reason, every time I think about Delicatessen, I envision a simple unadorned space. Then, every time I visit, I realize it’s far more remarkable than I remembered. With horizontal wooden panels that envelop the back walls from floor-to-ceiling that draw the eye down a flight of stairs to a lower-level lounge with an entirely windowed ceiling allowing the daylight to flood in illuminating the olive green leather couches that are affixed to the walls, wooden paneled tables that mimic the walls upstairs, colorful collage styled murals by local artist Juan Jose Heredia and a long horizontal mirror that hangs from the rear wall. The space was concieved and developed through a design collaboration by design firm Nema Workshop and Mark Thomas Amadei and has such a fun retro meets late 90s modern vibe.
Then, there’s chef Michael Ferraro’s mouthwatering menu—like my mouth is watering reminiscing about it. During my latest visit, I explored the new brunch dishes that chef hand curated. God, they were remarkable. There was nothing I could do to stop myself from inhaling the red rectangular cast iron skillet filled with lobster mac and tarragon. Holy hell, these rich flavors should not be missed. Literally, do not bother going there if you’re going to skip this dish, leave that table open for someone who knows how to eat right. Then there’s the Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed Brioche French Toast, which comes out looking like a geometric work of art. Envision a perfectly crisp box sitting on a plate atop a smear of dulce de leche. When you cut into it, it’s strawberry cream cheese center spills out across your plate—oh, it’s marvelous. For the benedict lovers, the Texas Benedict is an unmissable masterfully crafted version. With BBQ pulled pork, brioche French toast, poached eggs and hollandaise it is not only a sight to be seen it is unique and exciting—I’ve been so tired of seeing the same tired versions of ham, spinach, crab cake and smoked salmon Benedict everywhere, I could cry. Thank goodness for chef Michael Ferraro’s creativity for restoring my faith in the restaurant world’s brunch scene. I so feel like I owe him one.