Before you bite into one of the signature hot-pressed sandwiches invented by first-time restaurateur John Gargiulo, you will notice the vibrant green interior, employees in design-savvy uniforms, and a custom-designed heimlich maneuver sign hanging in Swich, his new 8th Avenue eatery. With a logo, menu, interior, and uniforms designed by Soho-based design firm, The Apartment, Gargiulo, who comes from a background in advertising, knows a new sandwich needs to do more than just taste good--it has to look good too.

The product is the restaurant's namesake--the swich, a hot pressed sandwich in over a dozen taste-tested varieties from "memphis," a grown-up peanut butter, banana, and honey concotion pressed on semolina raisin bread to the "trojan horse," a cousin to the Greek gyro, a hearty serving of marinated ground lamb with tomato, tzatziki, and fresh mint on rosemary focaccia. The "earthy mcgee" pairs creamy goat cheese with fresh thyme and grilled portobellas for a delightfully smoky and rich sandwich on seven-grain bread and the "karate chicken" melds east-west flavors coupling roasted chicken, almonds, crispy wontons and homemade plum dressing on toasty french bread for sweet-and-savory satisfaction.


Both vegetarian and meat-filled options abound, as well as a half-dozen salads, specialty sweet potato and regular potato chips--which we wished were cut a little thicker. Swich also offers an perfectly tart homemade banana lemonade that we could drink all day, every day. Sandwiches are packaged in insulated foil and sealed with a sticker containing eco-conscious messages. One sticker titled "uncle (farmer) bill" reads: "Have any friends/relatives who run a farm? We'd love to talk to them. We're always looking for the freshest local ingredients. Email us their contact info at SwichPressed.com." In the tradition of local products all of Swich's bread is freshly baked at Amy's Bread, which has shops in Chelsea Market and on Bleecker Street (at Leroy). Swich's consciensciousness also extends to their clearly marked recycling containers and to-go bags are made of paper, not plastic -- green touches in line with their decor.

The sandwich is age-old and time-tested, but even though just a few weeks old, John Gargiulo's hot-pressed treats add an aesthically pleasing and toasty twist that is sure to please all palates. Gothamist is a fan and thinks you will be too.

Stop by Swich, located at 104 8th Avenue (between 15th & 16th), 212.488.4800