It was more than a decade ago when we had our first Locanda vini e olii meal. An old drugstore, with walls lined with nostalgic pharmacy bottles, converted into a neighborhood restaurant has always instantly made us feel like we just showed up at our uncle’s house on Sunday. To combat the pandemic and winter in a dining ban they have converted the restaurant in a direction back towards the drugstore providing meals and provisions. This new alimentari offering highlights their fantastic ingredient list including their famed (at least in our house) olive oil. My mom can’t get enough of it. The menu is all available for order out so you can indulge in their best in-house dishes like their pappardelle with wild boar OR alici e burro (Sicilian anchovies). For us the Italian Marketplace is where it’s at. Stocking up on delectables like house made pasta, limoncello or their Italian breakfast in a box. If you are looking for a first move because you’re overwhelmed with choice as we were when we hit the site, start with the Meal-Kit. Each week a new offering includes a selection across three courses of tasty. By example, this week choose between Fettunta or Tuscan Lentil Soup to start. Follow that with Broccolini Pesto Gnocchi or Polenta (or Pappardelle) ai Funghi, a tough choice. Round that out by picking a winner in the Pork Shank vs Baby Octopus “Inzimino” bout. We’d go octopus. It’s a game-changer. Next week the options change so you can enjoy it all again. As my grandfather used to say, “a scarpetta” which signifies soping up sauce with a piece of bread to savor every last bit on your plate. We recommend the same theory applied to both the Loncada menu and marketplace.
More Dinner Events
We’ve got a little inside baseball on this one. Without spilling the beans too much, just know, the chefs behind this one have been friends of FTHQ for almost a decade. No big reveal BUT we can confidently say this, the Future of Protein Dinner is a must attend dinner. First off, who doesn’t like to time travel. Second, doing it with your tongue sounds far better than that antiquated phone booth Roofus had Bill and Ted ride. 80’s movie jokes aside, this experience spans three centuries of protein edibles. That’s meat for you culinarily challenged folks. Meat in it’s loosest sense, of course. You’ll learn, and taste, from where we started “meating”, trapping and hunting our food. On the other side, you’ll explore advanced cooking options through insect and plant based “meat” making. I know I’m psyched to get my grub on. Maybe literally. Tuesday, June 28 from 7 to 11PM @ MOFAD in Brooklyn.
I love a good backyard party. The fact is, I have not been throwing nearly enough of them in the past few years ever since my Brooklyn deck turned into a Queens backyard. That is not to place blame as much as it is to publicly say I am bringing them back this summer. If you don’t get an invite or if you prefer the professional chef version of this American past time, I have great news but it’s unfortunately not directions to my house. The two Franks, yes those Frankie Spuntino legacy guys, have just announced their 3rd annual backyard chef series. For those of you who live under a rock (aka. Deep Queens or the Upper West Side) Frank and Frank did some remodeling last year. They closed Prime Meats, their German steak house, and converted it into Franks. Confusing I know. Their reinvented spot is split between a wine bar and a trattoria. They also expanded the Frankie’s Spuntino dining room which allows for a new and improved backyard scene. All this means that this years line up has some new space and some new ingredients, or accouterments, to play with. The guest chefs include some of my favs like Angie Rito from Don Angie’s and Greg Baxtrom of Olmsted. A few out-of-towners are in the mix like the talented Kristian Baumann from Copenhagen’s Restaurant 108. The best part of all this is the entire evening is communal. From the welcome drinks to the long dining table you’ll make new friends at, things will get intimate. The spots at the table will fill up fast so make sure you pick a chef and grab up some seats before your only option is a useless attempt at a remake in your friend backyard alley, a $6.99 Walmart mini- bricket bbq and a 6-pack of canned rose. May 15th thru September 25th in Brooklyn.
Dinner, food science, your favorite chefs and helping kids. We should end this post right there. There won’t be a better sentence than that in the rest of this post. Despite that not even being a full sentence, we’ll fill you in a bit more. Jeff Salaway was one of the founders of Hayground school and he passed in 2001. His friends and family carried on his mission which is best summed up in the following quote. Jeff believed, “The growing, preparation and sharing of food is a primal human experience and the foundation of family and community.” Sounds a lot like what we’re always talking up. No wonder we were enamored by this event and the work the Hayground School is doing with kids. Although a seat at Hayground Chef’s Dinner is a steep one, it couldn’t benefit a more important cause. Teach a kid to fish Jesus once said. Or, was that Tom Colicchio? Either way, invaluable skills. Sunday, July 31st at 6pm in Southhold, New York.
The chefs and owners at Olmstead and Maison Yaki have graciously set up a fundraiser dinner to support a woman’s right to choose. Along with Greg and team they’ve invited some of their best chef friends to participate in making the Yellowhammer Fund charity meal extra delicious. There are two seatings and we think these tickets will go fast. A seat gets you all the food and drink you can consume plus a whole lot of feel good for your donation. Plus, you get to hang in a restaurant filled with a like-minded community all night. June 24th in Brooklyn at 5pm and 7:30pm seatings.