chi SPACCA
 
 

The meat-eater’s heaven from the minds of Mozza

By Leila Najafi

Leaning decidedly away from the realm of Italian cuisine that suggests heaping bowls of anything ending in the letter “I”, chi SPACCA emerged in 2013 with a mission to explore the world of beautifully cured and grilled meats. Cleaving itself a home on Melrose between siblings Osteria Mozza and Mozza2Go, it’s a particularly distinguished sort of meat-lovers’ paradise—one that’s the brainchild of Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich, a culinary trifecta that would make any diner giddy.

Whether it’s from the hypnotizing smell of the signature 42-ounce bistecca Fiorentina sizzling on the open-flamed grill, or the paper-thin sliced coppa plated in front of your widened eyes, all your senses come to life the moment you walk into this room through Mozza2Go. Grab a seat at the action-packed bar to get a front row seat on happenings in the kitchen, like creamed corn being swooshed around on the stovetop or a sous chef giving a slab of short ribs the best damn porcini-infused Swedish massage you’ve ever seen.
If you’re not quite in the mood for a meaty meal, the bar special is the perfect alternative to getting a taste of Tuscany. To start, the affettati misti offers a rotating assortment of house-cured meats that may include orange and fennel scented salumi, or ciccioli made with shreds of pork confit and topped with fried pork rinds. Wash it all down with a glass of wine and make your way to the whatever-is-in-season pickled vegetables, or the roasted ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms bathing in a sweet and tangy tomato vinaigrette—the kind of sauce that cries out for a cube of bread (also included) to swirl around in, so no traces of the liquid crack (err, sauce) are left behind.

No Italian meal—or any meal, for that matter—is complete without a sweet finish, and the silky butterscotch budino is the perfect way to end this Italian love affair.

hours

Mon–Fri 6 PM–10 PM; Sat 5 PM–11 PM; Sun 5 PM–10 PM

price range

$25 (grilled lamb sausage) to $185 (bistecca Fiorentina)
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