In Italy, iced coffee can mean something very different: espresso that’s semi-frozen, so it’s firm and scoopable, made into a granita that’s sometimes topped with a liberal dose of whipped cream. Granitas come from Sicily, where they’re a respite from ragingly hot summers, but they’re found all over Italy now, including Rome, the inspiration for Danny Meyer’s wood-fired Marta and its new casual neighbor Caffe Marchio. The café opens today in the Redbury New York (formerly the Martha Washington Hotel), and its straightforward, espresso-centric coffee offerings include that treat. (As well as actual iced coffee.) It’s uncomplicated by nature, but also the sort of simple thing that can drive people to obsession.
The menu — check it out here — also features the shakerato, a cold drink made of espresso shaken with ice and simple syrup until the whole thing is nice and frothy (it should really be on more menus in this city). The café makes all of its drinks with a single coffee blend that’s based on the heavily roasted, dark style found in Rome’s coffee shops, which was expressly created for them by Joe Coffee. (You’ll recall Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group is an investor.)
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