Arancini Bros: We’ve Got Balls

By Danielle Bimston

“ARANCINO (PLURAL: ARANCINI): N. AUTHENTIC SICILIAN STREET FOOD. MADE WITH ARBORIO RICE AND FILLED WITH ANYTHING OUR HEARTS DESIRE. THEN DEEP-FRIED AND EATEN HOT. WITH YOUR HANDS.”

-arancinibros.com

Honestly, with a description like that what’s not to love? A company created by a few men with a mutual love for Sicilian Rice Balls, Arancini Bros offer a delicious variety of completely irresistible stuffed risotto balls.  The idea came about while Dave and his friends were working as technicians for touring rock bands and discovered that they were all completely in love with this Sicilian treat.  Arancini Bros was born at that moment.

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The inside of an arancini (Photo Credit: Instagram @arancinibros)

The question then became whether or not a specialty rice ball business could survive in the big city of New York.  However, despite concerns, the founders rose to the challenge, serving their first Arancini at the 2010 Hester Street Fair in the Lower East Side.  The rice balls received a warm welcome, which led to the establishment of Arancini Bros NYC in 2011. Identifying themselves with the slogan “We’ve got balls!”, this Brooklyn based company has become more and more popular over the years.

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Arancini Bros (Photo Credit: Instagram @arancinibros)

Today, Arancini Bros serves over 30 different types of stuffed Arancini balls for every hour of the day; they even offer options for dessert! If you love Nutella, Arancini Bros offers their famous fried little Nutella balls amongst other sweet flavors such as Strawberry Mascarpone and Chocolate with Peanut Butter Mousse.

Called “little oranges” due to their orange hue as the emerge from the fryer, these risotto stuffed traditional Sicilian street food come in Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free options. With flavors such as Spinach & Ricotta, BBQ, and Pistachio Pesto, just about anyone can enjoy one! Throw an Italian street food happy hour at the office featuring Arancini Bros and your staff will most definitely thank you for it!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a socially conscious online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

QUIZ: What Food Should I Feed My Team This Week?

By Danielle Bimston

We know how challenging it can be to decide what type of food is best for the office… especially when you have to find something new and exciting every week! Whether you’re a stressed out office manager struggling to find delicious, innovative catering for your employees or a fed up staff member wanting to mix up your lunch menu, this fast and accurate quiz will send you in the right direction when choosing a FoodtoEat caterer.

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO TAKE THE QUIZ!

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Designed to take your mood and personality into account, our quiz can detect just what your taste buds desire! To give you the best result we have chosen a wide variety of restaurants to feature on our quiz from Mexican to Turkish-Mediterranean. There’s something for everyone! And the best part? Ordering is only a click away! So once you find that perfect food option to satisfy your taste buds and keep you full and focused, let us help you!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a socially conscious online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Porchetta: A Taste of Italian Street Food in New York City

By Emily Collins

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Porchetta is a tiny East Village shop that does its namesake justice. Their goal was to perfect the art of making porchetta sandwiches, a traditional Italian street food that is hard to find in the city. What makes Porchetta so special, you ask? The answer is easy; the Porchetta sandwich is the kind of food that stuns because it’s simplicity marrying quality. They’ve got the recipe down to a science, perfected the tender sandwich and intend to keep it that way.

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Porchetta’s Signature Sandwich | Photo credit: Porchetta

The owners, Sara Jenkins and Matt Lindemulder, strive to create something unique, consistent and affordable for city-goers that are looking for a quick bite. The pork is cooked slowly and is just about everything you would want on a sandwich. The meat is juicy, crispy and soft. The bread is crunchy. In short, it’s roasted perfection.

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Crispy Potatoes with Burnt Edges | Photo credit: Porchetta

While the Porchetta sandwich is their specialty, their other dishes are not to be overlooked. The sides are just like something you’d find in an old Italian kitchen: authentic, homemade and fresh. The crispy potatoes with burnt ends are an excellent complement to the namesake sandwich.

Luckily for you, FoodtoEaters, Porchetta is geared towards take out and delivery. Their sandwiches can be delivered right to your door or pre-ordered online for pick up. Check out Porchetta’s entire menu here and the line at this small shop are known to be pretty lengthy, so order online and get the food delivered to your door. Looking to impress a date with your savvy take out skills? We think a candlelight dinner featuring Porchetta sandwiches will sweep anybody off their feet.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a socially conscious online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Thirty Sandwiches, One Truck: The Magic Behind DiSO’s Italian Sandwich Society

By Anna Lesser

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Behind the Food Truck is a FoodtoEat original series where we meet the amazing men and women behind our favorite mobile cuisines and share their inspiring stories. At FoodtoEat, we’re lucky to have the best food trucks NYC has to offer in our family. Here are their stories.

Adam DiSilvestro

With 30 delicious options on the menu and fun sandwich names ranging from Mickey Scars to Vinnie the Butcher, it’s no wonder DiSO’s gourmet Italian sandwich food truck has made such a huge splash. They offer fresh sandwiches made from fine, imported Italian meats and cheeses from Di Palo’s in Little Italy.

This week, we were able to talk to the man behind this amazing Italian sandwich truck, Adam DiSilvestro. Adam started feeding New Yorkers about a year and a half ago and through word of mouth, loyal customers and genuinely great food his food truck has been growing a following ever since– it’s safe to say Adam’s got an awesome thing going!

He’s always been interested in food. Coming from an Italian family, “Food was something I have always wanted to try and experience in some way, so I wanted to try something classic, like an Italian sandwich stop.”

"Big Pauly" Breaded chicken cutlet parmigano, fresh mozzarella, homemade marinara, shaved parmigano reggiano, fresh basil
“Big Pauly” Breaded chicken cutlet parmigano, fresh mozzarella, homemade marinara, shaved parmigano reggiano, fresh basil

DiSO’s is a familiar name in the food community. They’re known for their long menu of any and every Italians sandwich that comes to mind. People used to tell Adam, “Take our advice, you have to cut this list down, simplify it,” and he would reply, “you know what, I have a vision and I’m just going to go with it.” Let’s all take a minute to thank Adam for sticking with his vision and offering NYC some of the best sandwiches.

Picking a sandwich is one of the more difficult things to do at DiSO’s. Some of his customers will “start at the top of the menu and work their way down.” It’s a pretty genius strategy that we at FoodtoEat probably need to try in the name of science (read: for incredible food).

Their handmade sandwiches call for a mouth-watering experience. One of their specialties, Joey Shake, is filled with Prosciutto, capicola, salami, provolone cheese, hot cherry peppers, arugula, parmigiano reggiano cheese, herbed ricotta spread, glazed balsamic dressing. You read that right; 9 ingredients, 1 sandwich. This heavenly creation is described as “the works of the Italian hero.”

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We’re excited to extend a warm FoodtoEat welcome to DiSO’s! You can now preorder their gourmet Italian sandwiches online and get their food catered for your next event. And if you want to see where their truck is currently parked, check out our Food Truck Map.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a socially conscious online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: http://www.foodtoeat.com

Jane Poretsky is the Epitome of Caramelized Sarcasm

By Debra Liu

Jane Poretsky is FoodtoEat’s resident chef and baker extraordinaire and writer of the food blog, Caramelized Sarcasm. From delicious savory dishes like Chicken with Olives & Lemon Thyme Sauce to scrumptious sweets like Chocolate Cinnamon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting, Jane wows our taste buds on a daily basis (we’re seriously spoiled!).

Jane Poretsky
Jane Poretsky

She started her blog in 2011 after her experience studying abroad in Tel Aviv, where she didn’t have a kitchen for four months. When she came home she had an urgent desire to cook. Her friends and family often asked her for recipes so starting Caramelized Sarcasm was the perfect way to build an online roster of all her creations to share with those around her.

In terms of her most memorable food experience, Jane says, “I love authentic food and recently had the most glorious Georgian bread/cheese with poached eggs. Let’s just say grilled cheese pales in comparison. It was from Tone Cafe in Brighton Beach… what I like to call ‘The Motherland'”.

Her top 3 dining spots are:

  1. Cherry next door to the Dream Hotel. According to Jane, the atmosphere is lovely and although the appetizers are on the pricey side, the dumplings filled with sour cherry and liver pate are a must-try. “They also have a house-crafted sesame bourbon that puts the classics to shame,” she adds.
  2. Maison Kayser for their pistachio eclairs, which “will have you hallucinating the Tour D’Eiffel outside the window”.
  3. Peter Luger Steakhouse. She loves the old world feeling of this classic steakhouse. “It’s a taste of nostalgia, and the best steak I’ve ever bit into. Vegans, beware. The tomato salad is the simplest thing you will ever order, but oh the freshness.”
Jane's Eggplant Timbale
Jane’s Eggplant Timbale

Jane  has an extensive cooking portfolio and enjoys making all sorts of dishes ranging from Eggplant Timbale (she’s obsessed with Italy!) to Russian Yeast Pancakes (Oladushki) in honor of her Russian heritage. She makes an amazing mushroom crepe cake that’s always been a hit at parties. Her go-to dessert to make is a pumpkin spice cake that is moist and studded with pineapple and coconut (yum!).

In her spare time, when she’s not cooking and feeding us, she spends a lot of time with family. She enjoys reading, hot yoga, bike riding and escaping to her country cottage on summer weekends. She likes exploring new restaurants and bars with friends. An interesting tidbit is that Jane can speak a handful of Italian, Hebrew and French and is pretty darn great at all 3 accents.

As for the future, Jane says, “I’m not sure where I’ll be tomorrow, and especially not 10 years from now. I hope to continue writing about food and sharing my passion for cooking with friends and strangers alike. Maybe one day I’ll own a restaurant, or have a cooking show. Who knows…Any Food Network recruiters reading this: that spice cake is yours if you hire me!”

Jane's Russian Yeast Pancakes (Oladushki)
Jane’s Russian Yeast Pancakes (Oladushki)

To learn and see more of Jane, check out her awesome how-to cooking videos on the FoodtoEat YouTube Channel

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Meet MasterChef Junior Finalist Alexander Weiss!

Alexander Weiss, MasterChef Junior Finalist  PHOTO CREDIT:  Greg Gayne/FOX
Alexander Weiss, MasterChef Junior Finalist
PHOTO CREDIT: Greg Gayne/FOX

By Debra Liu

Tonight, the entire nation will see Alexander Weiss, one of the remaining two finalists on MasterChef Junior, compete for the $100,000 prize on the show’s finale, which will air at 8PM on FOX.

Alexander, 13,  grew up in New York City and his adventures into cooking started at the early age of 5 when he began baking with his mom. As he got older, he learned how to cook savory dishes with his dad. “After that, I took what my parents taught me how to cook and made my food more elevated and complex. I had also watched the Food Network and cooking shows on TV. I have always been so fascinated by cooking and trying new things,” Alexander says. 

Alexander shares with us here at FoodtoEat what inspires him, what his favorites foods and recipes are, and what he hopes for the future:

FoodtoEat: What inspires you to cook?

Alexander Weiss: I’m inspired by the chefs I see cook on tv; such as Gordon Ramsay, Jacques Pepin, Daniel Boulud and by Anthony Bourdain, he doesn’t cook on tv, but his passion for food is inspiring, and of course my parents as well as knowing that I can make fresh tasty food instead of eating what’s in the frozen section of the market.

If you could choose any chef to cook with, who would it be and what would you cook?

Gordon Ramsay is still my number #1 choice. I’ve been trying to perfect his sticky toffee pudding recipe, but can’t quite nail it. I would love to learn the tricks from “the man” himself.  I  would also love to learn to make classic French dishes such as escargot and fois gras from Daniel Boloud.

What is your favorite recipe?

The next one I’m going to make. I have lots of favorites, but exploring new dishes is really the most fun.

Do you have a favorite type of cuisine to eat? Favorite type of cuisine to cook?

To eat- French & Italian  To cook- Italian

What is the most unique and fun dish you’ve ever created?

Vanilla bean roasted chicken and treacle ice cream in an almond tulle cup.

What is the one food you cannot live without, something that you could eat every day and never get sick of?

Pasta

Do you have a favorite restaurant in NYC? Why?

Jones Wood Foundry. It’s all amazing to me; especially, fish and chips, sticky toffee pudding, fresh crumpets with lemon curd and compound butter, beef and kidney pie, bubble and squeak.

What has been the most memorable part of being on MasterChef Junior?

Meeting all my great new friends and all the knowledge I’m taking with me from the MasterChef Junior kitchen.

What have you learned while being on the show? Any cool, awesome kitchen tricks? Were you nervous in the beginning?

I have learned how to work like a professional chef and how to be more organized, making aioli in a food processor, baking cakes in a bain marie (water bath) and a much better way to hold my knife. I was very nervous because all the other kids really looked like they knew their stuff.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Being the chef/owner of my own NYC restaurant.

Can you cook for our office one day?! Only half joking. It would be amazing to try your food one day!

For sure!!!

See Alexander cook to impress tonight on the MasterChef Junior Finale on FOX. We know we’ll be glued to the TV!

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

VIVA FORZA 2013

patron saint of san gennaro

I welcomed myself to the 87th annual San Gennaro festival with a large warm marinara slice.  As I walked through Mulberry street I was amazed with the depth of the non-food vendors present this year.  Chinese men and women selling Buddha figurines with silk prints right alongside African jewelers and veteran NYC t-shirts vendors. Amazing.  I bought a ‘nice’ godfather tshirt, a pair of shades and moved onto the fresh lemonade lady, eager to squeeze out a soothingly sweet lemon for my cold beverage. Tangy!

This year, the patron saint of Naples blessed the street fair with many hard working sausage extraordinaire’s.  I’ve never watched these guys with a keen observant eye, so I decided to check out some of their famed skills.  I made my way through the carnies – won a goldfish – and diligently looked out for a grill master and stood there and carefully noted his loving surgeon like handling of those large monstrous sausage rolls.

The grill was sizzling at this point and it scared me whenever he diverted himself to grab some fries or fried chicken for another hungry customer.  Why wasn’t he worried about that grill burning those wondrous cellulose encased trifectas of delicious meatiness? I decided to question him. Mistake – he gave me a quick shrug and a nonchalant dismissive grin. I’m sure if I looked deep into his eyes he would’ve been burned a hole in my already shaken confidence.  So I waited and watched him shuffle the meat around the grill.  Then he flipped it, carefully, just long enough for my eyes.

Feast of San Gennaro, Little Italy, New York City

Now I don’t believe that it’s right to give away trade secrets, but if something is going to benefit all mankind then it deserves to be known to the masses. Ok, are you ready for this? Those ginormous sausages are actually cooked on top of a layer of onions and peppers! Giving them the tender sweetness of the peppers and keeping them at the perfect temperature for that perfect snap as you bite into a sausage and pepper hoagie.  So there you go folks you don’t ask a professional why he does what he does. Especially when the line is a staggeringly deep into an overpopulated nyc street filled with who knows how many mafioso’s.

Happy cooking!

P.S. Next year im going to figure out, just how they make those gigantic cannoli’s and also just how fresh are those fried crab and lobster fingers? Stay tuned.

san gennaro gian cannoli man

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Radicchio Pasta & Risotto: Warm, Cozy, Italian

Radicchiologo

By: Debra Liu 

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Looking for a warm and cozy place to enjoy fresh pasta and risotto? Look no further. Radicchio Pasta & Risotto, located in Midtown East, is the perfect place for a delicious lunch time meal (definitely way better than the sandwich you slapped together last minute, I promise) or a romantic Italian dinner for two (your date will be impressed by how cute and quaint this place is).

Radicchio Pasta and Risotto opened its doors almost two decades ago in New Jersey and was introduced to New York City by Sati Sharma, the owner of the Brick Lane Restaurant Group, who bought the NJ-based restaurant a few years ago. Sharma is a passionate foodie, a chef as well, and wanted to bring the high-quality, homemade pasta goodness of Radicchio to NYC. Chef Daniel Felix Montoya, who has been with Radicchio since its inception 18 years ago, is still the chef who personally prepares all the pastas and risottos. When I visited the restaurant last week, Chef Montoya was out looking for the freshest ingredients in preparation for that evening’s dinner service.

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As for the menu offerings, let’s start with dessert. Radicchio’s Chocolate Lava Cake is to-die-for. According to Harish Naik, the Manager of Radicchio, the delectable cake takes a while to make but people love it so much, they are willing to wait. When it comes to the more savory items, among the most popular are the Black Linguini Seafood which comes with mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops and squid, the New Zealand Lamb Chops made with a rosemary balsamic reduction, and the Pan Seared Calamari. Their lunch specials are super affordable too; you can get a Grilled Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo with a salad or soup for only $11. As such, Radicchio has a lot of loyal customers who come regularly for lunch. And to sweetly top it off, when you order lunch for delivery, they even give you fresh baked biscotti on-the-house!

The restaurant is special, not only because of the homemade pasta, but for its low-key, and romantic ambience.  When you walk into Radicchio, you immediately realize how warm and cozy the restaurant is. The small space, the music, the single tables, lends itself to be the perfect romantic dining experience for couples. “It’s a great date spot and couples love this place,” says Naik.

So, the next time you are craving pasta for lunch, don’t just boil some boxed pasta and pour some store-bought marinara sauce and call it a day, order from Radicchio’s because their fresh, homemade pastas will leave you feeling blissfully happy and satisfied.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Prix Fixe Yourself

By: Samvida Patel

It’s that time of the year again! What originally was a 4-day affair organized by Tim Zagat and the late Joe Baum for the reporters attending the Democratic Convention of 1992, transformed into a month-long event by the unrelenting demands of the public.  Who doesn’t love seemingly affordable splurging?  And we say seemingly because of course, when you know you’re getting a huge price cut, you may feel inclined to spend on extras, like fine wine.  So in the end, what you had hoped would be a 25-dollar lunch or a 38-dollar dinner turned into much, much more.

But…we still love it.  When else would you be able to experience fine dining, if you are one of the working middle-class majority?  Here is an eclectic mix of restaurants we have pooled together for you to consider.

La Masseria- Italian is always a safe option to go with if you don’t traverse the boundary separating conventional and novel foods, but it can become boring if you don’t frequent the right places.  La Masseria, happens to be an exception.  While they keep their dishes simple, the finesse that goes into producing balanced, flavorful food with perfectly al-dente texture is unmistakable.  The Gnocchetti di Patate alla Sorrentina embodies just that—as someone who prides herself in being an eater of all almost all non-vegetarian dishes, I would say this simple, delicate pasta is the best on the menu.

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Hangawi- Sure it’s tucked away among the karaoke bars, casual eateries, and hotels that make up “K-Town,” but its name has much acclaim for its authentic, vegetarian food and traditional atmosphere.  More than the actual food, practices of the Eastern culture such as removing shoes and sitting close together on low-to-the-ground tables, offers customers an intriguing dining experience. Image

ImageAll dishes complement ambiance with their wholesome, pure quality, but the Spicy Todok Bibimbap and stone bowl stir fries particularly stand out.

Ilili- A prime member of New York City’s upmarket venues, this restaurant takes Lebanese foods to another level entirely.  To put into perspective, chefs behind these creations have been able to slash the unfortunate, most-hated-vegetable reputation that brussel sprouts carry.

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The roasted sprouts are tossed with slivered grapes, walnuts, and pureed fig, all of which are brought together with mint yogurt sauce.

Unfortunately, the dish is not on the prix-fixe menu, but it is an absolute must-try.  You can’t go wrong with any choice on either the set or a la carte menus.  Especially not the Phoenician Fries and Braised Lamb Shank!

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These of course, are only 3 of 293 restaurants participating in “restaurant month.”  Book your table in advance because places get packed super fast!  Can’t find a reservation?  Thankfully, featured restaurants including Amma, Darbar Fine Indian Cuisine, Darbar Grill, Yuva Frontier Indian Grill, and Fig & Olive 5th Avenue catering are all on Foodtoeat.com! You can have the same scrumptious food delivered to you and have restaurant week your way.

Happy Dining!

Article Reference:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2010/08/how-restaurant-week-became-restaurant-month/61215/

Photo References:

http://www.yelp.com

http://www.foodspotting.com

http://www.notjustvegetarian.com

http://www.gorgeouslywed.com

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Pizza from the Heart!

The literal meaning of the title
The literal meaning of the title…

By: Gabby Zilkha

Valducci’s is about more than just pizza. When you purchase a slice of pizza from the Valducci’s food truck you are buying the love and culture of a family shared to the world. And it isn’t just any type of love… it is pizza love and nothing is better than that?! *Please note that any attempt to argue is futile*

Mike the proud owner and even prouder father, is taking a step back from the business and passing it on to one of his daughters Christina who he jokingly referred to as Mike Jr. given their personality similarities.

When Mike spoke about his daughter Christina during the interview, you could feel his admiration through his words. He raved about how she had been working with him since she was just four years old. Christina would stay late at night and help out in the morning too he said. When she was really young, she would even get up on her chair and bang on the dough to help make the pizzas. The business is hers now.

Meet Tina!

In addition to running the business, Christina has been taking classes in English rhetoric and helping as a writing coach for students who speak English as their second language. This girl has drive and is getting things done with the help of her very large and loving Italian family.

The Valducci family’s passon is whole-heartedly reflected onto the food. One sweet example was during the hurricane Sandy aftermath, Valducci’s and other food trucks and restaurants teamed up to give out over 1 million meals.

Next time you bite into a slice of Valducci’s pizza you are not just eating pizza but also exploring family tradition, passion, and philanthropy.

 

 

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com