mario'sIf Mario's hasn't been a location for a movie shoot, it should be. It's the quintessential neighborhood Italian deli, with soccer posters, Italian flags and gigantic cheeses hanging from the rafters, bin after bin of every shape pasta one can think of, and that familiar aroma of garlic, salami and olive oil. Conversations in Italian ebb and flow, adding to the atmosphere.
The glass cases are filled with an irresistible array of antipasti, including oil-cured olives. These plump and wrinkly deep black beauties are sometimes hard to find, and they are among my favorites. Marinated artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and giardiniera (a colorful mix of pickled cauliflower, pepperoncini and other vegetables) beg to be arranged on a platter to share with friends, over a glass of Chianti.
One can pick up the Chianti (or other vino) at Mario's too. Add some thinly sliced salami and prosciutto, and a loaf of freshly baked bread, and you've got a meal. Some of those loaves are bigger than a newborn baby, so you'll have leftovers for crostini!