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 Places
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.
If we stand for anything, it’s dinner. The more special the more better. When we discovered Mark Ladner, pasta making magician of Del Posto and Lupa fame, was celebrating his one year anniversary of his fast-casual Pasta Flyer with a supper series we we’re psyched to say the least. An already high-rotation, week day, post-workout, dinner for us because of the incredible value Mark and team bring to the literal table…Secret best meatballs in city, secret great wines by the glass…he’s crafted this dinner series with some of his best chef friends. From the likes of Mario Carbone to Maialino’s Nick Anderer to Barbara Lynch (who has the best oyster bar in Boston amongst her food dynasty) the menu creations are bound to be off the chain. We’re not sure what we’re most excited about. Two Italian’s in the same kitchen or a food storyteller augmenting the current Pasta Flyer menu. It looks like this was a Resy and Applestone collab too. Props to them as we recently were swooned by the 24/7 butcher. Tickets will undoubtedly go quick so make a move briskly. September 26th through November 7th in NYC.
The Blind Pig Supper Club has been doing it since 2011. Doing what requires more words than I have available right now. These pictures encapsulate their mission and events. What we love is that they share our same ethos. The idea of meeting new people and becoming friends is tied into everyone of their erratically themed evenings.
You know how much we love film and TV inspired dinners. Graham Bellefeuille and Ty Cox are cut from the same cloth. They created Guild of Cookery based on the medieval meals you’d find in Game of Thrones. Sans blood, gore and beheadings of course. They honed their craft in some of the best kitchens in SF. Most notable, for us, Foreign Cinema. A place that inspired our supperclub. Given the impending new Game of Thrones season, we’re betting tickets will go quick.