When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

food / travel

The Italian Mozzarella Bar Conquering The World

A second Obica location has now opened in New York, bringing the global chain's high-end authentic mozzarella experience to a new level of global expansion.

NYC Flatiron's Obica Mozzarella Bar
NYC Flatiron's Obica Mozzarella Bar
Francesco Semprini

NEW YORK — When patrons come to the Flatiron District location of the Obicà Mozzarella Bar, they often say what a perfect spot it is, declares the company's U.S. manager Raimondo Boggia. With that, he welcomes us to the newest location of the Italian chain that has already conquered some of the world's key markets.

The company was founded in 2004 on the initiative of owner Silvio Ursini, and it has since grown to 20 restaurants in Rome, Florence, Milan, Tokyo, London, Los Angeles and New York. With the new Flatiron District location, Obicà now has two restaurants in the Big Apple.

It's just another Italian touch in an area full of boutiques and offices affiliated with the Bel Paese including the ginormous emporium that is Eataly.

"It was a shrewd choice, carefully thought through and studied," Boggia says. "We surveyed different areas, but we didn't want anything too fashionable. On one hand, there was the importance of making Obicà stand out among many others, but on the other to find where the right target audience were."

When he saw the location, Boggia imagined how it would look and knew right away that it was the right choice. The rest is history: an inspirational industrial environment, with visible pipelines, exposed red bricks and high-beamed ceilings, two counters, one bar and a restaurant.

The renovation and decor created by Labics Studio and architect Maria Claudia Clemente reflect the philosophy of the mozzarella bar, an elegant reception for each of the more than 150 seats, ideal for those who want to enjoy authentic food. The extensive menu is prepared by chef Enzo Banks. The cheese is imported from Italy, but it's not the only food on offer. There are also traditional antipasti, primi piatti (pastas), as well as main dishes, plus other mouthwatering innovations. And then there's the pizza.

Los Angeles-based Neapolitan chef Daniele Uditi is in charge of the pizza menu, and this "pizza alchemist" is somewhat of a celebrity at the Los Angeles branch. "The secret is the dough — 65% stone-ground flour and 35% whole wheat flour, leavened over 48 hours," he says. It's all in accordance with the Slow Food Movement: "good-clean-fair."

During Boggia's 10 years at the company, they have revamped their image to "reinforce the Italian-ness" — notably the change of spelling, from Obikà to Obicà, which, in Neapolitan dialect, means "here it is."

The Flatiron District is increasingly multifaceted, by day a hectic area of office workers and by night a worldly area with good taste. But, above all, it's becoming more and more Italian.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Decisive Spring? How Ukraine Plans To Beat Back Putin's Coming Offensive

The next months will be decisive in the war between Moscow and Kyiv. From the forests of Polesia to Chernihiv and the Black Sea, Ukraine is looking to protect the areas that may soon be the theater of Moscow's announced offensive. Will this be the last Russian Spring?

Photo of three ​Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Anna Akage

Ukrainian forces are digging new fortifications and preparing battle plans along the entire frontline as spring, and a probable new Russian advance, nears.

But this may be the last spring for occupying Russian forces.

"Spring and early summer will be decisive in the war. If the great Russian offensive planned for this time fails, it will be the downfall of Russia and Putin," said Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Skinitysky added that Ukraine believes Russia is planning a new offensive in the spring or early summer. The Institute for the Study of War thinks that such an offensive is more likely to come from the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk than from Belarus, as some have feared.

Still, the possibility of an attack by Belarus should not be dismissed entirely — all the more so because, in recent weeks, a flurry of MiG fighter jet activity in Belarusian airspace has prompted a number of air raid alarms throughout Ukraine.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest