Masseria Caffè is a quaint little café located at 891 9th Avenue. If you’ve read my story on Masseria Dei Vini, you know I’m a huge fan of the Masseria brand and partners Peppe Iuele, Enzo Ruggiero, and father and son team Pino and Vito Coladonato have opened a traditional Italian café right next door. The café offers espresso, cold brew, and nitro brew are all made with Lavazza coffee in the state-of-the-art espresso machine as well as other classic Italian staples such as macchiato, and cappuccino.
They also offer salads such as the Insalata di Grano, (the house specialty salad, made with Apulia grains imported from Italy, seasonal vegetables, lemon, and dressed with extra virgin olive oil) and Masseria, (arugula, endives, radicchio, mushrooms, olives, roasted peppers) as well as paninis such as the Parma, (prosciutto, homemade mozzarella, arugula, and extra virgin olive oil) and Tacchino, (roasted turkey breast, asiago, rosemary aioli, and arugula). I’d be doing this eatery a disservice if I didn’t mention some of their pastries – of which there are plenty. Some must-try pastries include the Occhi di Bue (an Italian sandwich cookie filled with raspberry, apricot, or Nutella) Cornetto (a softer pastry made with less butter and filled with cream and Amarena cherry, or pistachio cream) Cannolo Siciliano (filled with sheep’s milk ricotta and bomboloni, Italian doughnuts filled with Nutella, custard cream, and marmalade are also must-try.
We happened to stop by Masseria Caffè on National Panini Day so there wasn’t really much guessing on what we were going to eat. After greetings and a short conversation with the employees, I ordered a Caprese panini (homemade mozzarella, tomato, basil) and my partner in crime decided to have a Tacchino (roasted turkey breast, asiago, rosemary aioli, arugula). I didn’t try her panini but I can tell you that mine was exactly what I wanted; flavorful bread paired with fresh, light ingredients where you can taste the freshness. You’d be amazed how easily someone can screw up a mozzarella tomato and basil sandwich but thankfully, this isn’t one of those places. We also both decided to get a croissant on the side (I chose almond and she chose pistachio cream). Once again, I have to emphasize the freshness and what a difference it makes with baked goods as almond croissants can be hit or miss. I can report that Masseria Caffè is not joking about the freshness of the food and you can taste it with every bite; this croissant couldn’t have been more than an hour or two old and we stopped by later in the day.
I wanted to definitely give the coffee a try, and I went to my go-to order of a chai latte with almond milk. I really like how they kept the ingredients minimal yet the flavor was familiar yet a bit elevated. The employees at the café were so nice they gave us a sample of their shakerato and although I’m not a fan of espresso, I loved the almost chocolate milkshake texture and taste. They also gave us lemon meringue tarts and mini pies (I had an apricot jam flavor). I ended up eating my tart and pie a couple of days later (ironically, with a cup of coffee) and for as good as they were, I can only imagine how good they were the day they were baked. I will say that both were extremely flavorful and the pie came with a healthy amount of jam.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time at Masseria Caffè and it is a welcomed addition to the Masseria brand. There are so many more pastries that I wanted to try so a second visit is defiantly warranted. If you're in Hell’s Kitchen and on the hunt for a café with a local feel with elevated flavors and service, look no further than Masseria Caffè. masseriacaffe9ave.com