Sometimes, I’m drawn into a place due to a recommendation, or a good online review. Sometimes, it’s
as simple as walking down the street and seeing a line outside a place. And sometimes, the product
itself is calling to you. In this case, we had just finished a rather pleasant visit to the Whitney
(in it’s new location at the south end of the High Line, making it a new gem in the meatpacking district).
Afterward, we were walking down Gansevoort, and found that amongst the hip nightclubs and galleries that seem
to be the staple of the modern MePa (groan, at some point all the TriBeCa/SoHo like names will be taken…),
is the Gansevoort indoor market, filled with all sorts of little food stalls (including, interesting, a stand
selling autentico horchata de chufa, proper Valencian-style horchatas made with tigernuts). But it was walking
by the stand of Cappone’s that my eye was drawn to two things: (a) a picture-perfect slab of rare, herb-crusted roast
beef, and (b) the clerk at Cappone’s carving it to make a sandwich. At that moment, a proper, rare
roast beef sandwich was what exactly what I was craving, so we decided to lunch there.
Really, Cappone’s is basically your old-style Italian sub counter, the type of which used to be all over the
Northeast when I was growing up. The various chain “sub” places seem to have dealt these sort of places
a pretty hardy blow, with the ever-changing demographics of “Italian” areas yielding to other ethnicities, but a
few places soldier on. Cappone’s is basically one of these style of shops. Sure, they go all funky with their
sandwich names, naming them primarily after famous New York Italians, but under all that trendiness they’ve got
a good list of solid sandwiches, built upon good meats (roast beef, cappacolla, soppressata, …), good cheeses,
and good toppings.
Myself, I opted for the daily special, which was the “Bugsy”. This was fresh sandwich built to order
to order, with the clerk offering up samples as he went; first some of the beef sliced right off that beautiful loaf,
followed by a hearty layer of fresh mozzarella and a thick layer of roasted peppers. Combined with a perfect
Italian sub roll, toothy with enough crust to give it some bite, and this was an excellent, hearty sandwich, enjoyed
at a nearby table as we watched the hustle and bustle of the marketplace.
For Carol, her sub, the Napoli, was a similar experience: delicious layers of some tasty prosciutto, soppressata, mozzarella, roasted peppers, and some delicious olive spread, making a classic Italian hoagie. Again, everything was great here, with the meats themselves being high quality, a good crusty roll holding it all, and a clerk that expertly assembled the entire sandwich to order. Carol was as pleased with her sandwich as I was with mine.
Overall, I really like Cappone’s. Sure, there’s a bit of play to the tourists, and it the naming scheme is a bit
gimmicky, but under all that was a pleasantly competent and delicious little sandwich stand, with some staff
who were truly trying to make sure you were enjoying your meal. It’s certainly one of the better lunch options
in that corner of town.