By Carey Jones
Updated December 14, 2015
Credit: Courtesy of Kat & Theo

If your last bologna sandwich was in first grade, with those wiggly round cold-cuts slapped between slices of Wonder Bread, it might be time for an upgrade. Real bologna — that is, Italian mortadella — is a different beast altogether: meaty, delicately spiced, and lusciously, indulgently fatty. Those crispy edges it gets once you fry it up? Unbeatable.

At Kat & Theo in New York, chef de cuisine David Fisher spent a lot of time with bologna sandwiches during time spent cooking in Oklahoma, which inspired the dramatic highbrow “Panisse & Fried Mortadella” at this upscale Flatiron Distinct restaurant.

The bread. Rather than bread, the kitchen creates panisse, chickpea flour cakes — crisp on the outside and a little creamy in the middle. (Bonus: they’re gluten free.)

The filling. Fried mortadella would be enough to make this sandwich memorable, but here it’s paired with melted mozzarella and a house-made roasted tomato marmalade. Hard to imagine going back to Oscar Meyer bologna after this.