It is very, very, very easy to fall into constantly eating in the same neighborhood(s) and spots. For example, I live in Brooklyn, it takes me about 15-20 minutes to get to LES and NoLita. Further, maybe two people that I associate with on daily basis live above Canal Street. Two people. Everyone is in Brooklyn or downtown. Guess where I eat? I keep it within walking distance of my place or downtown within walking distance of my everyday peoples’ homes and with so many options there alone, why would I really leave convenience?
Because Sam Chin told me to, that’s why. Sam is a very young, hard-working publicist/event producer/babe. We initially met when she invited me to #HashbrownsAndHashtags and it’s been all heart-emoji exchanges ever since. Having worked together on some things since then, I quickly accepted her invite to check out Gran Morsi, still conveniently located to my life on the Tribeca/Financial District border at 22 Warren Street. They would be introducing their new summer menu.
We started off with a round of drinks. A definite stand out was the Limoncello Margarita (not pictured) and the Cedar Smoked Old-Fashioned that involved a torch. I sat between a friend that’s Gluten-free, a vegetarian that doesn’t drink, across from another vegetarian and Sam, who I split an order of meatballs with, naturally. Both the calamari and the zucchini chips were fried to perfection and although I attempt avoid fried anything they were not only more than worth it but very carefully done, as I spoke to one of the servers about. We also tried both the Buffala Burrata (served with an incredible pesto) and Sheepsmilk Ricotta topped with hazelnuts and honey, both with garlic crostini on the side.
Obviously the pizza was a must and I had a slice of the Artichoke one, no bleu cheese or hot sauce so you know it’s real. Everything was light and delicious enough to convince myself (after a few glasses of Rosè, of course) to go all in with the Black Linguini served with shrimp, njuda, arugula, san marzano tomatoes and calabrian chiles.
It was between the overwhelming amount of cheese and ordering my entree that Emeka the GM came out and broke down Gran Morsi for us. Translating to english as ‘a lot of bites’, Gran Morsi encourages diners to do it their way having a solid selection of appetizers, pasta dishes, entrees, pizzas and sides. Emeka also explained that coming from a fine dining background made him desire to being to share with more people and not such elitist clientele. Thus, fully embracing an italian attitude he explained Gran Morsi was made to be everyones “third place.” By “third place” he means, their go-to, the number one option but being called third only after home and work. Essentially it’s in the running to be my second place because home and work collide as one. I should ask if they have wifi. Regardless, most importantly he said, “If we don’t love it, it’s not on the menu,” and I VERY much identify with that. If I don’t love it, I damn sure don’t need it in my life.
Finally, surprisingly, we managed to try a selection of the desserts and my favorite by far was the lemon cheesecake – goat cheese, macerated berries and strawberry coulis. When you come out of your virtual food coma, after you peep the pics, peruse their IG and follow their Twitter, head into Gran Morsi one-time, convenient or not, it’s worth a stop.