Anitco Noè Brings Real Italian Panini to Midtown East

This one is a tip from our good friend Yvo, who let us know that there is a new Italian sandwich company in town. Antico Noè is an old-school panini shop from Florence that has been introduced to Midtown thanks to some fans of the original one.

It opened just a few weeks ago and I stopped by for lunch recently. The storefront is quite compact so the crowd looked overwhelming. Cashiers were instructed to hold off on taking orders until the panini pressers were on target. I suppose that is a good strategy. My hopes were not high for a quick turnover, but the whole process ended up taking about 15-20 minutes. Not so bad for a brand new lunch business in this neighborhood.

The original Florence location offers 25 different panini combinations and here they have brought over 10 of the most popular ones. That explains the confusing numbering of sandwiches and why there is a #12, but no #11.

Most of the sandwiches are a bit out of the ML $10 budget, but some are close. I asked the cashier for her recommendation between two and she emphatically said that the #23 was her favorite and since it had spicy salami and was one of the lower priced ones, I didn’t have to think twice.

It’s very easy for us to complain about portion sizes here and you’d have a case when it comes to this thin sandwich. But after taking a few bites, I truly felt like I was in Italy. And in Europe, they tend to think our giant sandwiches are way too big. So in this case, the more modest size felt justified.

I was impressed that the salty and spicy salami was accessible in every bite. The ratio of bread to ingredients was more than fair. And the strong flavor of brie was subtle providing a nice contrast to the spicy meat. The sandwich also had a few sundried tomatoes and a full-flavored homemade pesto sauce.

The ingredients were fresh and rich (the meats and cheeses are imported from Italy). And the warm, crisp bread was as good as I had hoped. So really the only complaint here is a fat American one. You’ll probably need a bag of chips to hold you through the day. But the sandwiches are as authentic and as good as anything I’ve tasted in Italy.

Antico Noè, 220 East 53rd Street (between 3rd and 2nd Ave), 212-750-0802


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