Greenpoint’s newest sandwich shop, La Sandwicherie (156 Driggs Ave.), opened on Monday, September 19 near McGolrick Park.
The store started as a food truck that was parked near McCarren Park for a year, serving high-quality French sandwiches to parkgoers until one summer afternoon when a customer made the owners an offer.
Greenpoint resident Daron Yemini, who calls himself “a recovering attorney, real estate investor and broker” visited the cart with his daughter and tried the ham sandwich, something he said he would not normally order. He loved the sandwich so much that he asked the truck owners, Laurent d’Antonio and Massire Diawara, if they’d be interested in teaming up to open a more permanent location.
Yemini joked that even his daughter questioned if his intentions were serious. But he already knew the perfect spot for La Sandwicherie. “I felt a need for a great sandwich shop in the neighborhood, and once this location popped on the market I knew what it ought to be,” Yemeni told Greenpointers about the small storefront at 156 Driggs. The trio obtained a lease on July 15 and, in two months, turned the storefront into a shop with French sandwiches, Italian coffee, and French groceries.
La Sandwicherie’s food menu features baguette sandwiches, panini, and crepes. The baguette sandwiches include the one Yemini tried called The Parisien with French ham, brie cheese, tomatoes, arugula and mayonnaise. There’s also one called Le Thon with tuna, another called the Truffle Burrata and Prosciutto, and a vegetarian and dairy-free option called Le Veggies.
The panini can be served hot or cold and feature options like Le Trois Fromage with Swiss, blue, and goat cheeses, and Le Notre Dame with pastrami, Swiss and mustard. The crepe options contain a selection of sweet flavors including Nutella, sugar, honey, and jam. Pastries, like croissants, will also be offered.
The coffee, however, is not French. It’s Italian, and d’Antonio called it “the best coffee in New York,” explaining that it’s made by an Italian and roasted in Italy. “If you’re going to offer coffee, it should be the best,” said d’Antonio In addition to traditional espresso drinks like cappuccinos and cortados, beverages like tea, hot chocolate, and fresh orange juice are on the menu.
La Sandwicherie’s epicerie section includes French products that are difficult to find in the United States. Several shelves of groceries include items like a gluten-free cake, flavored syrups that can be added to sparkling water, cookies, charcuterie, cheese, speciality sauces, organic breads like baguettes, and even French bath products.
In addition to the specialty groceries and gourmet food, there are decorative touches throughout the space that make La Sandwicherie really special. For example, the floor was hand-painted by d’Antonio’s artistic friend and portrays a map of France, d’Antonio and Diawara’s home.
French native d’Antonio, known as Chef Lolo, has been a business owner in New York for 17 years. “When the COVID hit, I was struggling a lot…I really didn’t know how to approach the future,” he said. “I got an idea while walking in the park and looking at food carts.”
D’Antonio proposed the idea of a food truck to “his favorite employee” and fellow Frenchman Diawara, who was working at d’Antonio’s Williamsburg restaurant Pâté et Tradition, which unfortunately closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, but will reopen under the new name Maison Provence next year. Diawara explained that the idea was a fateful coincidence because he had just gotten his food truck license.
Diawara ended up being the one working at La Sandwicherie’s food truck when Yemini visited. “As he ate a delicious ham sandwich that I’d prepared for him, I explained to him the concept of the food truck,” explained Diawara. Yemini said the sandwich “hit the spot” and made the suggestion on the spot. Diawara replied that he had to talk to his partner, so Yemini said he’d come back in a few days. Yemini told Greenpointers that he didn’t have to come back, but he was so sure about the partnership that he did.
Diawara could not be more excited about La Sandwicherie, stating that “I can proudly say that that young and ambitious boy from Paris is now a restaurant owner in New York.”
You can try the fateful ham sandwich, the “best coffee in New York,” or shop for specialty French groceries at La Sandwicherie everyday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.