January 11, 2003

Gastronomic Gourmet shops in Greenwich

Got up this afternoon and felt like a European as I popped around Bleecker Street, running my weekend errands.

First stop, the Laundromat on my block, second stop, Rocco’s (243 Bleecker), the Italian Pasticceria known for its freshly-squeezed cannoli, where I go every Saturday for my cup o’ joe, and last bit before the real food run, the hardware store. I crossed the street to Strawberry Fields supermarket at 311 Bleecker Street for some cupboard basics. Next door at 309 Bleecker is where Thomas Paine spent the last year of his life in 1809.

Crossed back over Seventh Avenue and made for Murray’s Cheese shop at 257 Bleecker, with the country's best cheese selection of over 250 varieties from around the world at great prices (I picked up a ceramic pot of St. Marcellin for $4.99 and nice wedge of cave-aged swiss @ $10.99/lb so I can make grilled cheese sandwiches) and friendly fellows serving. Because they were out of bread, I headed into Zito’s Italian bread bakery, around since 1924, to grab a baguette next door at #259. I crossed the street to Faicco’s Sausage shop at 260 Bleecker where the shelves are lined with marinated Italian olives and artichokes, dried pasta, vinegars, specialty spreads, and cans and cans of tomato products. Alongside are Faicco's acclaimed sweet and hot Italian sausages (I got hot sausage for $4.99/lb and super fresh ground beef for $3.99/lb), ready prepared meals, ground meats, and fresh chops. Plus, adoring and adorable Italians behind the counter. Last stop, Turquacino, my little gourmet grocer’s with just what I need, plus a hot bar and upstairs seating area for quick eats.

Take a trip to this block of Bleecker one Saturday for excellent groceries and you’ll feel like you’re in some little part of Europe. Oh, and a new café called Noi Café (in Italian, it means "Our Café") just opened. I’ll have to check that out another time, but in the meantime, get your creamy risotto at the Risotteria at the corner of Bleecker and Morton - a little expensive, but always perfect for a cold wintery day or John's Pizzeria, according to others, New York's best pizza.

**Note** Murray's cheese has since moved across the street to #254!