A while back we lamented a dearth of good muffulettas, but that may change on the second week of June when Giuseppe Ferrara opens Acquedolci. We’ve already worried that the former Dom’s/Dolce Vita space is cursed, but Ferrara, a Sicily native whose grandparents worked at the first Sbarro in Brooklyn, tells us he isn’t really sweating all that. He lives in the neighborhood and used to own the Italian Food Center across the street (as well as the Pane Peppe sandwich shop in Tribeca). “I’ll come with a little horn around my neck,” he jokes.
He’ll also be bringing his mom to help him prepare takeout foods such as stuffed artichoke and roasted pepper salads; pasta con sarde; and pepperoni, prosciutto, and panelle breads. Add to that Illy drinks as well as an array of Italian groceries, pastas, and olive oils — and, of course, the aforementioned Sicilian-style muffuletta sandwich. (Hopefully it beats the one over at Cha Cha’s.) But is all this necessary with an expanded Di Palo opening across the street? “We need another Italian-based store — not a restaurant,” assures Ferrara. “Little Italy is getting smaller and smaller, but hopefully, with this addition and Di Palo’s, we’ll try to maintain its authenticity.”