Obicà Mozzarella Bar, NYC
Fresh buffalo mozzarella like you've never had before (except in Italy)
Obicà Mozzarella Bar is an under-the-radar Flatiron gem—one block away from Madison Square Park—that should be on the list for those downtown planning their next work lunch. With restaurants around the world (from Tokyo to London and Rome), the brand's New York flagship quietly celebrated its one year anniversary last week. But the quality of its mozzarella can't be kept secret for much longer.
Obicà imports its DOP (Denomination Origin Protected) Certified mozzarella twice a week from where it's made best: the Campania region in Italy, home to Neapolitan cuisine—and herds of water buffalo. And the mozzarella di bufala, like its name indicates, is made the traditional way from their creamy milk. It has about twice the fat of cow milk, from which the US usually makes their versions from (mostly due to lack of domestic water buffalo). Even at its most artisanal, cow-milk mozzarella can have a rubbery texture. Imported buffalo mozzarella can be found in plenty of stores in NYC, but oftentimes it stays on shelves longer than it should. The difference in the freshness and quality of the mozzarella di bufala at Obicà is noticeable even to the most innocent palates. With a soft texture like a cloud and immensely flavorful, the imported cheese is a fleeting taste of homemade Italian goodness within the concrete jungle of the city.
There are four kinds of mozzarella on offer: classic, smoked, burrata, and burrata with black truffle. All of this is on view at their open Mozzarella Bar, where guests can also dine while also observing salumi being sliced before their eyes and pizza (with dough made in-house) cooked in their stone dome oven.
The only regret we have is that we didn't order more dishes with mozzarella in it. Don't get distracted by the bread or pastas (also made in-house) or main courses: trust the cheese here, have it four ways, and revel in it.
Obicà Mozzarella Bar is located at 928 Broadway, NYC, NY 10010.
Mozzarella photo courtesy of Obicà, all others by Cool Hunting