If you’re in Park Slope today there is no question where you should eat lunch: .
Zito’s, owned by brothers-in-law Enzo Conigliaro and Marcello Bucca, is named after the duo’s wives Maria Zito-Bucca and Michelle Zito-Conigliaro. But, most importantly, this sandwich joint just opened today on Seventh Avenue, between Seventh and Eighth streets.
The “Brooklyn-themed modern Italian-American sandwich shop” is not the regular Italian delicatessen. It’s menu, ingredients, interior design and over-all vibe gained influence from an old country philosophy and the slow food movement.
“The concept behind this place is to pay respect to an Italian food philosophy: Use what you have around you,” said Bucca, whose wife Maria is a co-owner of . "So we are using the freshest, highest quality and with-in-arms-length products to make a sandwich.”
The ingredients for these subs are delivered fresh everyday. They make their own mozzarella. They fry rice balls to order, to pay homage to the late Joe Suprette of Smith Street, and even have their wives' favorite sandwich: "Panelle," fried chick pea fritters. And what they cannot make, they get from the best. Their products are from various New York City staples who have been in business for generations.
The sausage, for their sausage and peppers special named “18th Avenue Feast” (after the Bensonhurst Italian-American festival), is from Faicco’s Pork Store in Dyker Heights, the beef is from Salumeria Biellese in Manhattan’s Midtown and the bread is from Il Fornaretto Bakery in Bensonhurst.
“We’re trying to pay respect to everyone my family and I went to every week for food,” Bucca explained last night at the soft opening, sitting in their shop of exposed brick, white subway tile and reclaimed wood from their brownstone, all designed by TAG Collective in Brooklyn.
, who are the duo's relatives on the Zito’s side, are also partners.
What makes this shop even better is that they have four different kinds of Six Point beer on tap, two wines from Long Island and one Italian imported beer. You can also get a 64-ounce growler to go for $18 (includes $3 deposit).
But you better get their fast, especially if you want their “Meatball Parm” which is made of pork, beef and veal, for their fresh ingredients run out quickly, considering the menu of 13 different sandwiches (they also have the “Meatless” with grilled Portobello, roasted peppers, broccoli Rabe, and artichoke spread), house specials like the “Fennel Taralli Baresi” (Italian pretzel wrapped with prosciutto), or the “Arancini” which is the Sicilian-style rice balls, and eight different salads.
“If you got to the dinner table late, you didn’t get meatballs,” said Bucca, explaining where he and his partner got the inspiration for not mass-producing sandwiches, but rather making each classic sub to order. “This sandwich shop is a big believer in the fact that we will run out of stuff in order to keep freshness and quality of our food the highest.”