I’ve been going to Raffetto’s for as long as I can remember to stock up for our traditional Italian Sunday suppers. My father grew up just a few blocks away on Thompson Street and when I moved to the city in the 90’s I was at Rafetto’s every week. Over the years a lot has changed around the neighborhood but Raffetto’s still has the simplicity and old-world charm of doing one thing really really well. I don’t think the pasta chart has changed since I was a kid. Pick a flavor. Pick a size. Done. One thing that has changed at Raffetto’s is Sarah Raffetto, the fourth generation great-granddaughter of Marcello Raffetto. She grew up and opened a pop-up pasta restaurant inside the shop. With her partner Emily Fedner, of @foodloversdiary, they offer intimate meals on Sunday and Monday when the retail shop is closed. Dubbed Petite Pasta Joint, the experience is a food and story filled evening hosted by the two carb fanatic founders. We expect nothing short of the fresh and perfect Rafetto’s pasta paired with some equally delicious sauces and sides. Currently, it seems events are by inquiry only. We can only imagine COVID restrictions are to blame.
More Experience Places
Tuck your napkin into your shirt, grab your Wet-Naps, and get ready, because the Ulster County Fairgrounds are about to be taken over by the 12th Annual Hudson Valley Rib Fest, a yearly affair where more than 16,000 people converge to celebrate all things ribs-related. The day will include more ribs than that rack that flipped over the Flintstone’s car at the drive in PLUS live music, cooking demos, children’s country games, and a contest of 60 teams battling it out in the Empire State Barbecue Championship. There’s a little bit of heart behind all this rib-related activity, too — all proceeds from the event will go towards supporting Rotary activities at home and around the world. Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm Sunday 11am-5pm in New Paltz, New York.
An auction of Anthony Bourdain’s personal collection made us excited and disgusted at the same time. A chance to own an artifact from our number one food culture hero was enticing. We immediately jumped on the silent auction and found some favorites like the duck press from his Paris episode of The Layover. Currently bid up to $9500. Or, a Michelin statue given to Bourdain by Marco Pierre White. Currently $4300. An early version of Kitchen Confidential for $3700. A Simpsons script for “The Food Wife” signed to Anthony by the cast for $3300. We even found a clash of ultimate fanboy dreams with this framed photo and note from Billy Joel to Anthony Bourdain dating back to a visit at Les Halles in 2005. Currently at $4300. But, as we perused the over 200 lots, things took a turn for the worse. His zippo lighter. Some jackets he wore. A pair of cufflinks. Even his Rolex was up for bid. The idea that people would be walking around, quite literally, in our idols shoes while we were not even finished mourning his loss seemed off the mark. We thought maybe the profits would help better raise his daughter but that only temporarily quelched our cerebral discomfort. Digging deeper we realized a large amount of the proceeds would go towards the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America. We rest more easy but still don’t love the idea of wearing our faithful traveling culture professor’s clothes. Based on current bids, there are plenty who don’t share our slightly morbid view. For nothing else then a peruse through Tony’s passions give a click and a scroll. The items are categorized around the things he loved; film, art, cooking, travel, writing and his obsessive observation of culture. It served as a recap his television escapades via personal artifacts many which we remember from seeing on screen. You can visit in person Monday-Saturday, October 9th-30th from 10am-4pm in New York, Savannah or Texas.
You know our BBQ history runs deep. This event is at the root of our ‘Que know how. On a rainy Saturday in 2002, I bumped into a guy named Danny while poking around 27th street. I asked him where all this barbecue came from and I quickly learned the far reaches of the expertise that was in front on me. Fourteen years later, Mr. Meyer and the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is much more than a block, the crowd is far more than a few New Yorkers biting their way down a gramercy park street and a New York restauranteur with an idea to share the world of BBQ with his neighbors. So big in fact there’s some new options like fast pass and VIP that will get pork to your lips faster than you can snort at the crowd you just bypassed. June 11-12 from 11am to 6pm in NYC.
If we say the words “East River State Park” and “food” in one sentence, any foodie worth his or her salt (heh) will immediately think of Smorgasburg, the outdoor food bonanza that has been drawing hordes of hungry food lovers to the Brooklyn waterfront since 2011. But for one Sunday this September, those words will take on new meaning — Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint is taking over Smorgasburg’s regular Saturday digs to show off the culinary chops of the area with a full roster of exclusively North Brooklyn eats. It’ll feature longtime faves like Meatball Shop, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, and Brooklyn Brewery along with some neighborhood newbies that you may not have heard of. But don’t worry, in case you have any doubts about local authenticity, of the 50+ vendors who will be showing their stuff, we’ve counted nine whose names include the word (you guessed it) “Brooklyn.” That’s some pretty legit stuff. September 18 at 1pm in Brooklyn.