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.
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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.
It’s getting cold. It’s getting dark. And, we’re all wondering what this shift to winter is going to do to our new found love of outdoor dining. Enter RESY’s Yurt Villages, a pop up restaurant city at your favorite restaurants around the country. We assume they will be heated because, well, they are yurts and its freezing. American Express card members had access for the last two days but today it opens to everyone at 11am so grab a spot before they’re gone. New Yorker’s will see some of their favs like Lilia and Crown Shy yurting it up. In DC, Fiola. In Philly. Zahav. Kann in Portland and Canlis in Seattle rep the pacific northwest. By now you must be envisioning that glamping spot you could never secure on airbnb BUT this reservation food is included. So lace up your redwings, grab your best made axe and head down to the yurt village for a night in the round. Second though, leave the axe at home.
This is the most important election our life, and probably yours too. No matter which way you lean, your voice is needed and important to truly understand what we stand for and care about. To that end, voting is not as easy as you’d think and getting to the polls even harder especially with the pandemic. Amplifying the already growing food insecurity faced in our country, getting to the polls versus waiting on a food line is a choice that most likely leads to your vote not being cast. To combat this The Infatuation, Zagat, and The Migrant Kitchen have joined forces and launched Feed the Polls, an effort to bring the maximum amount of voters to the polling stations by using free meals as the incentive. The hope is to help every American have a voice, which is what we want, now more than ever. Helping is simple, a $10 donation buys one meal.
Zoltar has spoken, and your wish has been granted: yes, you can watch ‘Big’ on the patio at Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market while sampling from Horse Thief BBQ’s menu of Texan meats and veggie-centric sides. We promise that the magic of the evening will be restricted to the movie’s storyline, Tom Hank’s performance, and the restaurant’s non-Hollywood dishes like brisket, apple and pomegranate salad – that is, of course, unless you decide to try your luck with an unplugged fortune-telling machine, in which case, see you at FAO Schwartz on the human sized piano. Wednesday, August 3rd at 8pm in Grand Central Market, Downtown LA.