Lunch at Caffe Falai

Last week on a rainy, disgusting, but warm Tuesday, my mom came into the city to get lunch with me and do some Christmas shopping. I got to show her my office and the Courthouse. All very exciting things. I decided to take her to Caffe Falai on Lafayette St., which I had been wanting to try for a while. There were two other branches of this restaurant on the LES but both have closed. When we walked in at noon it was nearly empty and the waiters and management were speaking Italian to each other – always a good sign in my opinion. The space is clean and welcoming and once they got cooking it smelled heavenly.


Tuna Panini


They start you out with a good bread basket and even better olive oil. It was peppery and fragrant, just asking to be soaked up by their fresh bread. We each ordered a panini. My mom went with the tuna, which looked delish. The bread was crusty and crispy on the outside but broke apart easily so that the innards didn’t squish and fall all over the place – that has to be my biggest pet peeve when eating a sandwich. Don’t you just hate when the stuff inside slips out the sides? Drives me nuts.

Mortadella Panini

I went with the mortadella panini, which came with a truffle robiola type cheese. I can’t remember the exact cheese and it’s not on their menu online. Oh well. It was delicious. They did not skimp on the cheese or the meat. The truffle taste was mild but that was good because it was already a pretty rich sandwich. It came on the same bread as the tuna panini.

I’d love to come back here sometime and try out their pastas and other offerings. Their breakfast menu also looks quite good.


One thought on “Lunch at Caffe Falai

  1. I so adore Mortadella! For whatever reason, I was afraid to try the stuff as a kid, but as an adult, I am hooked on the stuff. Makes me want to take a trip to Bologna. My wife is also hooked on the stuff. Here’s one of our favorite mortadella combinations…

    Take a slice of crusty bread, put a folded piece of Mortadella on top, lay a chunk of Primadonna cheese on that, and then top THAT off with a marinated mushroom and drizzle some of the olive oil/vinegar slurry on top. Wash it down with your beverage of choice. A glass of red wine, sangria, a Baladin Nora, or perhaps some Saison Dupont. It all goes!


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