Our Man Sietsema and the Surreal White Blobs
Not monster white blobs that ate Manhattan, but white blobs that you eat in Manhattan. This week, Our Man Sietsema finds himself at Óbiká, the Roman import that's been rolling out boutiquey mozzarella in cities as far flung as Kuwait City and Tokyo. The upscale chain's arrival in our fair city has been followed obsessively by Midtown Lunchers, and by Our Man, who told me that he enjoys the original Óbiká in Rome.
And Our Man likes New York's branch--set in the glass atrium of the IBM building--well enough. But it only offers three mozzarellas, and Our Man would expect more from a true mozzarella bar. The three options: Mozzarella di bufala imported from Paestum, Italy, the same buffalo mozzarella, smoked, and a Vermont-made domestic buffalo mozzarella. You can have these cheeses chopped up in salads, rolled around meat or fish, and paired with charcuterie.
Our Man's main problem with Óbiká? Home team pride: "Never let anyone tell you that our city's wonderful cow's-milk mozzarella is inferior; Óbiká is crazy not to serve it."