Little Italy Recipes to Try at Home

Like many of you (I hope),I’m staying home & I’ve been cooking a lot more than usual.   We’ve got nothing but time, so why not try making something new? Some of the restaurants in Little Italy have shared some recipes  you can try at home. Not much of a chef or simply tired of cooking? Here’s a link to restaurants offering take out.  Many Little Italy products are also available online via Amazon.

Recipes from the Belmont Business Improvement District:

 

Now more than ever, it’s important to support our local businesses. Check in on your faves’ social media accounts or go on Uber Eats to see who’s delivering or doing take out to help these businesses survive.

Taste of the Bronx at The Bronx Museum of Art – Sat. Oct. 26

This month’s Taste of the Bronx pop-up market will be held at the Bronx Museum of Art this Saturday from 1-6 pm. Over 25 Bronx-based vendors will be their selling apparel, jewelry, food, and more. They’ll also be launching the fall edition of Taste of the Bronx quarterly subscription box which features specially selected items from Bronx businesses.

Visitors will also get a chance to check out two new exhibits at the museum, Henry
Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987 and The Life and Times of Alvin Baltrop.

Remember that admission to both the museum and market is free!

Second Annual New York Pizza Festival Returns to Little Italy This Weekend!

The second annual New York Pizza Festival makes its return to Little Italy this weekend, October 5 and 6, 12:00 pm- 5:00 pm.  The festival will feature pizza from 25 different restaurants across the country, including local spots like the Bronx’s own, Pugsley Pizza.  Click here to purchase tickets. Nicole from Bronxmama and I got to check out the preview a couple months back and I’m so excited to see what’s in store!

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Ferragosto Feast

Ever since attending my first Ferragosto a couple of years back, it’s become an event I look forward to each year. Seriously, how can anyone pass up an opportunity to eat food made with fresh ingredients followed by delicious desserts and maybe even a glass of wine? I personally can never pass up some sausage and peppers (I don’t even get it anywhere else because I know it won’t be as good!)  and a cannoli.

A cool feature of this year’s Ferragosto was the debut of Little Italy of the Bronx’s new Tuscan wheat pasta line. I’m generally very skeptical of “alternative” pastas, but I tried a sample and was really impressed. You can’t tell the difference and of course you have the added benefit of a healthier option. The best part is that it’s available in local supermarkets – I actually randomly came across the marinara sauce in the Morton Williams by Kingsbridge.

Be sure to support your local businesses and make sure you check out next year’s Ferragosto Feast!

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Taste of the Bronx Pop-Up Market Comes to Fordham Plaza, Aug. 2nd!

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know that Taste of the Bronx Pop-Up Market has been making its way across the borough each month since February offering up some of the best of what the Bronx entrepreneurs have to offer – bath/body products, jewelry, candles, apparel, food, and more.

Tomorrow, August 2nd, from 4-9 pm,  the market comes to Fordham Plaza featuring over 20 Bronx-based businesses and performances from Uptown Vinyl Supreme.

In addition to the markets, Taste of the Bronx also has a quarterly subscription box with a seasonal theme containing Bronx-focused items. The selected products must meet the standards of the Taste of the Bronx Seal of Quality in order to qualify.

Visit Taste of the Bronx for more info and stop by the market on Friday to support!

Dinner & Drinks with a View at Zona de Cuba

With the opening of Zona de Cuba coinciding with my birthday week, I decided to add it on the the week’s festivities. The much hyped rooftop bar and restaurant is the first of its kind here in the Bronx in that it is fully on the rooftop (as opposed to say, Pine, where the restaurant is on the lower level and there is a bar on the upper level). When I found the entrance (hint: it’s NOT on the Concourse, but on the other side of the building), there was a long line of people waiting to get in. The entrance isn’t super flashy or anything, but you can tell it’s upscale and they are serious about that dress code because a guy was definitely turned away.

A friend was already waiting upstairs for us and said the place wasn’t really crowded, so I’m not sure why the line took so long (they also didn’t fill the elevator up as much as it could have, without being too packed. There was only one elevator in use.). There was a line for people with reservations, but when we had called to make them the day before, the line was busy. The woman at the front said they would be revamping the reservation process soon. (Update! They have updated their website to allow reservations online.) The whole entry process could definitely be streamlined.

Once we finally made it upstairs, we loved the decor. Whoever designed this place deserves all the applause. There are comfortable couches (definitely a must) in the interior dining area, surrounded by an assortment of lush greenery, and chandeliers adorning the ceilings. The outside area offers up surprisingly gorgeous views of Harlem amid brightly colored couches and flags from various Latin American countries.

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My friend who had arrived before us had yet to receive her drink, after waiting over half an hour. The waitress who dropped it off, turned and walked away without acknowledging me or my other friend, so we had to flag someone else down who was as attentive as she could be given how hectic things seemed to be for the servers. She had mentioned that there was a back up at the interior bar and ended up taking our drink ticket to the bar outside. (I’m not sure why this was, there appeared to be only one bartender outside, while there seemed to be 4 inside.) My drink, the te picó  el burro de Tito was not my favorite. The flavors tasted watered down and overall wasn’t a strong drink, which was disappointing for a $15 cocktail. My friends did like their drinks, though – the tamarindo con tu Henny and the guava mojito.

Our food, however, did come out at a decent time. I ordered the como pollo con grano, which was essentially a fancy arroz con pollo. The portion size was huge, I ended up having leftovers for like two days afterward.

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Later in the evening, a live band started to play and people began to dance. The music was very loud throughout our visit, so Friday night is probably not the time to have any deep conversations here.

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Overall, it’s a gorgeous venue and I hope they’re able to work out some of the kinks to make it a really great place to hang out.