France has graciously loaned three things to America: wineable grapes, Gerard Depardieu, and words that end with a silent but deadly x. Admire the taste of a tradition that has lasted well beyond the Statue of Liberty's original shine with today's Groupon to Bistro 110. For $25, you'll get $50 worth of mouthwatering hedonistic creations made in the French tradition of rich sauces and copious butter, or as the French call it, "fool's gold."
With its original wood frame and wrap-around porch, Capannari Ice Cream appears much the same as it did in 1882 when it was Moehling General Store and Post Office. In the restored building's kitchen, chef Jim Capannari churns strawberries, vanilla beans, and other fresh ingredients into ice cream, which he makes in four-gallon batches to ensure freshness. That ice cream has won numerous awards from the likes of Bon Appetit and The Daily Herald, and is available in "standard" flavors such as Lick the Bowl Cake Batter or Rocky Road. Patrons can also sample specialty flavors such as Dulce de Leche Crunch or lavender.
La Blondina Bakery's confection-crafting owner, Agnieszka Klepacki, pleases palates of all persuasions with café-style lunches and delectable desserts. Tarts tickle tongue buds with a choice of blueberry, pear, or almond filling ($14 for 8”; $16 for 9”; $18 for 10”), and chocolate-chip cookies ($1.50) and cupcakes ($1.50) furnish guests with bite-sized snacks for bribing hyperactive children or bosses. In addition to sweets, the expert bakers handcraft artisan breads from scratch, filling the store with the alluring scent of french bread ($2.49) and beer bread ($2.49). Sandwiches quell more substantial appetites with toothsome toppings such as roasted veggies, turkey, and italian meats ($4.95).
Chefs Pina and Ed of Pina's Culinary Experience bestow their edible expertise on studious suppersmiths week after week in their elephantine kitchen and Mediterranean-style dining room. This year's third-quarter and fourth-quarter syllabi feature the ever-popular tapas class (Wednesday, July 13 and Friday, July 22), which fills up quickly as pupils crowd to assemble a jigsaw puzzle of small plates such as andalusian shrimp fritters and moules marinara. Chefs learn the secrets of cooking quick meals with ingredients easily at hand on Wednesday, August 24 and Wednesday, August 31, fixing under-30-minute delicacies that far surpass slapping together a sandwich or microwaving some ice cream. Students over age 21 are welcome to bring their own wine or alcohol to complement the feast of munchable masterpieces held at the end of each session, and all will be sent home with doggie bags of any leftovers in the hopes of inspiring pets to finally start cooking for themselves.
Organizing Dinner's adroit culinary mavens teach in-home cooking lessons in group-party or concentrated solo formats. During lessons, the charismatic class leader teaches kitchen owners and their whisk-wielding posses how to wrangle their cooking gear to create toothsome treats. Previous sessions have focused on such culinary skills as light cooking and creating appetizers for International Hug a Dolphin Day celebrations. Lessons can also cover such handy topics as saving cash while shopping and using leftovers wisely.
A boxed lunch takes on a whole new meaning when it comes from Green Cuisine. This isn't your standard sad sandwich, apple, and cookie tossed into a box for a corporate event; these are sandwiches, wraps, and salads prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients for a palate used to the finer things. Take, for instance, a typical turkey sandwich boxed lunch: roasted turkey breast, field greens, red onions, and cranberry-walnut cream cheese on multigrain, paired with a choice of side, plus a cookie or brownie. That's just one of many options; strawberry walnut salads, thai chicken wraps, and vegetarian choices also can be featured.
Along with Green Cuisine's many catering options, which also include custom hot buffets, hors d'oeuvres, and other small plates perfect for social events, the chefs also add a little sweetness to the options with french macaroons. Indulge in chocolate, lemon, pistachio, and other flavors, which are good for any occasion, including holidays.