Mozzarella Movement

Obika Mozzarella Cheese Bar opens its high-design cheese counter

Obikà, the high-concept meat-and-cheese kiosk that opened yesterday at 590 Madison Avenue, is an Italianized take on extravagant Tokyo sushi bars. Back-lit glass cases turn exquisite orbs of handmade mozzarella—which include a traditional mozzarella di bufala DOP, a creamy burrata and an American mozzarella from Vermont—into works of art. And artisanal charcuterie (prosciutto di Parma, speck, bresaola) is showcased like precious jewels.

Silvio Ursini, Obikà's quality-obsessed founder and the creative director of luxury-goods behemoth Bulgari, is responsible for the kiosk's theatrical presentation. Ursini wanted the first U.S. outpost of his revered mozzarella chain to be distinct from the seven restaurant-style Obikàs in Europe—hence the 16-seat communal table, the take-out counter (panini are $8) and seating in the public atrium.

But Ursini won't have his meticulously sourced ingredients served with plastic plates and forks. Instead, he hand-selected Danish plates, Bornioli stemware and handmade Thai cutlery worthy of the superb Italian cheese he's having flown in three times a week.

Obikà, 590 Madison Ave.; 212-355-2217 or obika.it