Harry & Ida’s Is Alphabet City’s Brand-New Sandwich Destination

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Pastrami with buttermilk fermented cucumbers, dill, and anchovy-Meyer-lemon mustard.
Pastrami with buttermilk fermented cucumbers, dill, and anchovy-Meyer-lemon mustard. Photo: Melissa Hom

In April, Grub dropped the news that fermentation-happy chef Will Horowitz (Ducks Eatery, Seamstress) was building a research and development lab to explore everything pickled, smoked, and cured. As part of that effort, Horowitz planned to devote some of the space to a retail store, Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co., a place where he and his team (sister Julie alongside chefs Jonathan Botta and Chaz Lindsay) could sling sandwiches and peddle experiments like smoked butters, morel and cockle conservas, pickled cattails, and charcuterie. As promised, this week sees the Harry & Ida’s opening: The final space is a brick-walled sliver of a general store designed to look like a butcher counter and inspired by the Jewish delis his Hungarian great-grandparents once owned uptown.

Along with the pantry goods, there’s also a tight sandwich menu, featuring four standbys and a couple of seasonal specials down the line, which leans heavily on the traditional foods of the Northeast. Think smoked bluefish and (soon) smoked eel, a kind of riff on the Italian combo, and pastrami made using his great-grandparents’ recipe. (In keeping with a no-waste ethos, scraps from that pastrami will be used to make a hot dog.) Though the point of Harry & Ida’s is the homemade products, the team will carry a variety of goods from mostly local producers, as well. Expect cured meats from West Loop Salumi (with some exclusive collaborations), homeopathic medicines from Violet Hill Farms, and a grain section, featuring farro, polenta, and yellow coarse grits from Anson Mills (which is exciting, since the revered South Carolina mill’s products are still tough to track down in New York). There will also be plenty of foraged goods, with a whole section devoted to dried wild seaweeds right now — though Horowitz is quick to say that he wants the place to constantly evolve.

“The most fun layer is just not knowing,” Horowitz says. “We’ll use whatever product comes up or we think is underutilized, like eel or bluefish, it’ll all be exploratory.”

The store is named for owner Will Horowitz's great-grandparents.
The store is named for owner Will Horowitz's great-grandparents. Photo: Melissa Hom
There will be lots of meats.
There will be lots of meats. Photo: Melissa Hom
Sort of makes you feel like you're in Nantucket.
Sort of makes you feel like you're in Nantucket. Photo: Melissa Hom
Pastrami-scrap hot dog with shiitake-mushroom sauce, fermented parsnips, and pickled onions.
Pastrami-scrap hot dog with shiitake-mushroom sauce, fermented parsnips, and pickled onions. Photo: Melissa Hom
Country ham sandwich with nduja, pickled chilies and fennel, and smoked butter.
Country ham sandwich with nduja, pickled chilies and fennel, and smoked butter. Photo: Melissa Hom
Smoked bluefish salad with pickled ramps and celery.
Smoked bluefish salad with pickled ramps and celery. Photo: Melissa Hom
Smoked eel and smoked butter.
Smoked eel and smoked butter. Photo: Melissa Hom

Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co., 189 Avenue A, nr. 12th Street, 646-864-0967

A New East Village Sandwich Destination