In the magazine this week, the Underground Gourmet hands five stars to Torrisi Italian Specialties, whose $45, BYOB, daily-changing prix-fixe dinner U.G. calls "quite unlike any other Italian experience in town." Dishes are served "like a chefs tasting at the French Laundry: as a progression of refined, carefully constructed small plates instead of a cavalcade of Little Italyscale platters." Also worth putting on your radar: the Hester Street Fair's gourmet ice-pop stand La Newyorkina, where flavors like avocado and chile-mango are inspired by Mexican ice-cream shops.
Susan Burton dives into the shadowy world of raw milk, which is illegal in New York but nevertheless passionately condoned by people who, having tried it, can never go back to the grocery store variety. "Its like the difference between Cheez Whiz and Brillat-Savarin," says one acolyte not to mention alleged health benefits that, to raw- milk drinkers, outweigh the risks of the unpasteurized product. If you want to try raw milk yourself, check out some farms within a few hours' drive of the city. Though maybe it's not worth the trip: Adam Platt taste-tests four milk varieties (bodega, organic, Greenmarket, and raw) and says of the raw variety, "to me its like milk youd feed a baby seal," preferring instead a "cereal milk for the gods" from the Union Square Greenmarket.
While you're at the market, fresh garbanzos are in season, best served simply charred in a recipe from La Fonda del Sol's Josh DeChellis. And the new breakfast at Cafe Pedlar joins its sister restaurant Prime Meats in featuring pedigreed eggs, part of their "Lancaster County Egg Program."