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Obicà wears its heart on its menu: decorated with an annotated map of Italy, the provenance of many of the cheeses and meats available here is carefully illustrated, and echoed by knowledgeable staff. This Obicà (part of a group that spans the globe) is decorated in dark hues and dominated by a long bar, and presents a stripped-back option for diners looking for high-quality Italian produce to match a long list of the country’s wines. Majoring in mozzarella, the menu possesses a mighty six options, including powerfully smoky bufala affumicata or a whopping 1kg ball served with pesto and focaccia. Delicious meats include charcoal-roasted prosciutto and wine-cured culatello di Zibello ham, while a range of pizzas are made from stone-ground Petra flour. There are also pastas, soups, salads and desserts, and a Campari- and Prosecco-focussed cocktail list. If you’re looking for a classy, light meal, this is a safe bet.
It dawned on me the other day that I am an avid consumer of tomatoes. In our house they’re a salad staple (a certain someone even made a multi-coloured tomato-only salad the other day), I obsessively stockpile the tinned ones because you never know when you’ll need to rustle up the go-to pasta dish, and I’ve been known to squirt T-sauce on a lot of things. This epiphany came to me as I was sitting in the dimly lit downstairs dining room of Obica, listening to someone talk about tomatoes and actually getting excited. Hand on my heart, I don’t even care how lame that made me sound because these tomatoes are worth that...
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Obicà is the brainchild of Silvio Ursini, a Neapolitan by birth, who dreamed up the idea more than 20 years ago. His inspiration came partly from his local salumeria in Naples, where lines formed for fresh, hand-pinched, creamy mozzarella balls served on plastic plates. He imagined a locale that combined the best of both culinary worlds.By creating a stylish bar where one could swing by for a snack and sips of wine, Mr. Ursini hoped to fill a niche: something between a sandwich stand and a formal restaurant. The minimalism of the counter, the glass shelving on the bar and marinated vegetables all work well...
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