Interview with Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi of Torrisi Italian Specialties

Torrisi Italian Specialties


After attracting a passionate fan base for its deliciously reconsidered Italian cuisine, Torrisi Italian Specialties is now in the running for tonight’s Best New Restaurant Award. Read on to see what owners Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi had to say about their favorite cookbooks and Chinatown eats.

JBF: Where were you when you heard you were nominated for a James Beard Award?

MC + RT: At work.

JBF: You guys are known for pushing the boundaries of what Italian cuisine can be, but the pastries you serve are pretty traditional. Do you ever think about changing it up?

MC + RT: Up until recently the pastries were made by us, but now we’re all very excited to have former WD-50 pastry chef Pam Yung on board. New things are already on the plate and there are more to come.

JBF: It’s been reported that once the sandwich-shop expansion opens, you guys will start serving your menus during the day as well as night. Do you think the daytime menus might be any different from what’s available at dinner?

MC + RT: It will be along the same lines of what we serve at dinner now.

JBF: What are your favorite cookbooks?

MC + RT: We love White Heat, The French Laundry Cookbook, and Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire.

JBF: You’ve mentioned that Chinatown is big source of inspiration for you. What are some of your favorite restaurants there?

MC + RT: We enjoy Nom Wah Tea Parlor and Nha Trang for Vietnamese.

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