Compared with a sturdy rice ball (so called) at Esposito & Sons in Caroll Gardens, after two bites this arancini ($3.50) collapsed into a delectable mass of arborio rice and pea-dotted ragu. See how it runs; the texture is closer to that of the prosciutto balls at Espo's neighbor Joe's Superette.
Another customer — a native of Catania, Sicily, who works at this focacceria's affiliated restaurant — told me that these are the only arancini he's found in New York that remind him of the Old World version. He also observed that although "arancini" (ah-rahn-Chee-nee), the commonly used Sicilian name for these "little oranges," is plural in form, even back home some folks use the word to order just one; others prefer to say "arancino" for the singular. No big deal, says he; sidestep the issue and order two arancini, say I.
Also fab: the focaccia di Recco, a double-crusted specialty from Liguria, in northwest Italy. The imported crescenza cheese that adorns it also oozes, in near-liquid form, between its crisp sheets; a rotating selection of add-ins includes prosciutto (shown; $5).
Piccola Cucina Focacceria
120 MacDougal St. (Bleecker-West 3rd Sts.)
Affiliated with a full-service restaurant called Piccola Cucina (184 Prince St.), which also lists arancini, but not focaccia, on its menu