A New York delicatessen can be a good place to find butcher-paper- swaddled Reuben sandwiches, glass display cases stacked with oily Italian cold cuts, surly counter service and coffee that resembles swamp water. Chef Phillip Lopez's new modern deli, Part & Parcel, doesn't have much in common with a corner bodega on Bleecker Street.
Part & Parcel is located in The Paramount building in the burgeoning South Market District development. There are local touches throughout the menu, such as bread sourced daily from Gendusa's Bakery and Gracious Bakery. Dishes such as crab boil potato salad infuse the picnic standard with Creole flavor. Coffee comes from Chicago's esteemed third-wave roaster Intelligentsia Coffee, and because this is New Orleans, there is booze, including craft beer, wine by the glass and creative cocktails.
Lopez is known for his handle on charcuterie, and cured meats are the heart of the operation here. Meats are the stars of the sandwich board, which doesn't pay vegetarians many favors.
The pinnacle of the sandwich selection is the Corleone, a packed-to-the-rafters, messy creation that would bring a smile to any wiseguy's face. It features thick layers of wild boar prosciutto, salami, juicy roasted rosemary ham, provolone cheese, garlicky basil pesto, lettuce, tomato, red onions and pickled peppers on a seeded hoagie. The Hot P. on Rye features thick, salty slices of veal pastrami with a juniper and caraway sauerkraut mix, melted Swiss cheese and remoulade on thick slices of crusty rye bread.
One can't miss the strong Italian theme. Both the Godfather and Angelina sandwiches are reminiscent of Sunday evening comfort food, with meatballs and fried eggplant, respectively, draped in thick Sicilian-style red gravy and mounds of molten mozzarella cheese.
The devilishly good T.A.S.T.E. sandwich makes an excellent case for fried turkey, packing in layers of juicy meat, avocado wedges, tomatoes, sprouts and a fried egg. One bite into the sandwich sends yolk oozing into the crevasses of the crusty ciabatta bread, which is spread with smoky chipotle aioli. The indulgent mass is equal parts creamy, crunchy, spicy and salty.
If there's a word the chefs and salumieres at Part & Parcel don't seem to know, it's restraint. Generally that works, but the Pirate's Catch sandwich is so heavy on shrimp and sauce gribiche that the more delicate flavors of lobster and shaved fennel are lost.
There's a nice, though small, selection of salads, including an interesting Israeli couscous medley topped with grilled mahi-mahi and black garlic vinaigrette while cured cucumbers, herbs and feta cheese add body.
If sandwiches aren't your thing (or if you happen to be on a gluten-free diet), beautifully assembled charcuterie platters arrive decorated with colorful house-made accoutrements, including strawberry mustard, pickled satsumas and mezcal-brined pineapple wedges. The kitchen staff shows attention to detail with the complementing items that matches its calling-card meat-curing skills.