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posts tagged ‘pizza’

Thrillist Feature: Secret NYC Menu Items You Need To Know About

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:11 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

It’s no secret that some of the best dishes at NYC restaurants aren’t found on the menu. These special-request, unlisted items are created by chefs exclusively for diners in the know. All you have to do is ask, and you shall receive. But what exactly should you be asking for?

Parsnip Sundae_Dirt Candy
Check out my list of the 15 best off-menu eats that you can score right now—from badass burgers (Ai Fiori, Gramercy Tavern, Virginia’s) to over-the-top pizzas (Marta, Nicoletta, Roberta’s) to specialties from the sea (Seamore’s, Oceana), and many more! Read the full article featured on Thrillist here.

Parsnip sundae courtesy of Dirt Candy

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The Meatball Factory Rolls Onto The Scene

Monday, October 24, 2011 at 10:10 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Chef Dave Martin knows how to play ball. As demonstrated when the Top Chef alum debuted his meatball-centric menu to an eager crowd during this weekend’s preview of The Meatball Factory, which officially opens on Tuesday, October 25th.

  1. Elysian Farms lamb meatballs smothered with rich & creamy wild mushroom sauce
  2. Poutine-style beef balls, melted mozzarella & San Marzano marinara over fresh cut fries
  3. Guests got ballsy while enjoying a preview of The Meatball Factory\'s flavorful dishes
  4. \'Cheese, Please\' mozzarella pizza gets kicked up with Hells Bells Vodka Sauce—a fiery combo of Absolut Peppar, spicy cappicola, red bells, San Marzano tomatoes, oregano & cream
  5. Challah bread (from Eli\'s Bakery) stuffed with turducken meatballs & curry peanut sauce
  6. Chef Dave had a ball during his big preview!
  7. Pizza with ground turducken & curry peanut sauce delivered a knockout flavor punch
  8. Dave’s decadent & delicious World Famous Black Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese
  9. Malted fudge & sea salt caramel sundae with candied walnuts—a perfect post-meat treat

Commanding the corner of East 14th Street and 2nd Avenue, this warm, rustic bistro boasts a cozy interior with dark wooden tables, exposed brick walls, floor to ceiling windows and a sizable bar area. The menu of upscale comfort food centers around an extensive selection of house-ground gourmet meatballs, including flavorful rounds of braised pork, short ribs, chorizo, duck, lamb, turkey and veggie. Proteins pair up with eight savory sauces, such as green curry peanut, black truffle cream, spiced up vodka and fire roasted marinara, and fully customizable combos allow diners to curb any meaty craving—you can have your balls on a challah roll, over housemade pasta or crispy, thin-crust pizza, or poutine-style atop fresh cut Idaho fries coated in melted cheese.

So, what makes The Meatball Factory stand out? “Simple, high quality, fun food that’s affordable,” Martin shared. Nothing on the menu is over $15 and no bottle of wine is priced over $40. Yet, the quality and flavors are top notch. Take the Turducken meatball, made from a house blend of La Frieda turkey, Bell & Evans chicken, Hudson Valley Farms duck confit, sage & allspice. Martin prides himself on prime sourcing and uses his own line of handcrafted rubs, sauces and seasonings to tastefully elevate each dish.

While meatballs are the star here, you’ll also find dairy-free and gluten-free options, seasonal salads, vegetable sides, and a tempting array of sweet treats and ice cream sundaes to round out the menu. The ‘Thai This’ pizza—a mouthwatering medley of ground Turducken, luscious green curry peanut sauce, Thai chiles and Grana Padano sprinkled over delicate cracker dough—is a must-try. For the ultimate indulgence, order up Dave’s World Famous Black Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese—a decadent breadcrumb-topped infusion of slow cooked cream, shallots, brandy, sherry, truffles, fontina, thyme and oregano. And make sure not to overlook the shaker of red chili spiced agave on your table. When splashed onto entrées, it adds complexity, depth and quickly becomes addicting. To wash it all down, belly up to the bar for reasonably priced vino, along with 18 taps and 20 bottles of craft beer.

With an evident passion for his craft, chef Martin masterfully pairs new flavors with comfort food staples, creating dishes that you’ll want to savor again and again. And since The Meatball Factory rolls out endless choices and combinations aplenty, be sure to come hungry and prepare to have a ball.


The Meatball Factory, 231 Second Avenue at 14th Street, 212.260.8015

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Casa Nonna: New Italian for Hell’s Kitchen

Friday, June 10, 2011 at 12:06 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Garlic crackling in olive oil, the smell of fresh picked basil, a pot of marinara simmering on the stove. If you crave the comforts of authentic Italian as often as I do, then feast your eyes on my feature for The Strong Buzz about Casa Nonna—a new Hell’s Kitchen trattoria that officially opened its doors today. Mangiamo!

Ravioli di Ricotta (photo courtesy of Casa Nonna)

There’s a new way to eat at Grandma’s house. Just head to Hell’s Kitchen, where recently opened Casa Nonna attempts to recreate the home cooked Italian experience. Following the success of their DC-based outpost of the same name (which pays homage to the Italian matriarch), ESquared Hospitality, the parent company of BLT Restaurant Group, introduces the Tuscan- and Roman-inspired trattoria to their rapidly growing portfolio.

Casa Nonna is far from a quaint cucina, but a sprawling 200-seat space boasting a generous bar area and two main dining rooms filled with brown leather banquettes, terra cotta floors, and walls adorned with vintage artwork and antique mirrors. At the center of it all is a sleek marble counter Pizza Bar, where you can enjoy a full view of the open kitchen and mosaic-tiled pizza oven.

Chef de Cuisine David Amorelli (formerly of davidburke & donatella) executes an accessible menu of seasonal specialties. Expect a selection of hot and cold antipasti, such as Sicilian sweet & sour eggplant ($6) and braised mini meatballs in marinara ($11), and daily house made pastas including orecchiette with broccoli raab and fennel sausage ($18) and gnocchi with lobster, chanterelles, pancetta and garlic greens ($28). Entrées of pan fried veal chop ($38) and whole grilled Mediterranean sea bass ($24) reflect traditional Italian favorites, yet Casa Nonna’s savory star seems to be the Neapolitan-style pizzas ($13-16) made from high quality ingredients and wood-fire cooked until piping hot, with a bubbly, charred crust.

For dolci, get sweet on Bomboloni sugar doughnuts soaked in Limoncello, white chocolate Affogato sprinkled with espresso, and an assortment of sorbetti (all $7). The wine list is exclusively Italian and includes 60 selections available by the quartino or bottle ($13-$135), while the cocktail menu offers classics with a twist, such as the CasaNova with Finlandia grapefruit vodka, Aperol, clover honey syrup and fresh orange and lemon juices ($13).

And if granny still hasn’t filled you up, sharing the space next door will be NYC’s second GO Burger location, serving burgers, hot dogs and shakes from a dedicated kiosk.

Casa Nonna is located at 310 W. 38th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Aves), 212-736-3000

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