Angelo and John opened Tuscany Deli after working in the food business for decades, drawing on their knowledge of Italian food and customer service. Each day their cooks build specialty sandwiches and grill paninis stuffed with chicken, imported prosciutto, and sun-dried tomatoes. They also feature hearty daily specials including pot roast and housemade lasagna. For at-home dining, they offer Boar’s Head cold cuts by the pound and party-catering packages to celebrate birthdays or commemorate a successful attempt to eat everything in the refrigerator.
The chefs at JR Cake Dreams think of each dessert as a work of art. That's why they craft specialty cakes in the shape of pink elephants, high-heeled shoes, and other creative designs. Patrons can also order cake pops, brownies, and pie pops made with pie crust and pumpkin, apple, or cream-cheese filling. The company's bakers also curate memorable birthday parties by teaching children basic baking skills and helping them to decorate their own cupcakes.
Rudy’s Pastry Shop whips up tongue-tingling baked treats in a variety of incarnations including cakes, pies, and tarts. Nosh on an assortment of freshly baked, sugary nibbles such as a black-forest or red-velvet cupcake ($1.75–$2.50). Other handheld flavor devices include danishes and tarts—imbued with the creamy fillings of raspberry or nutella ($2.50 each). A delectable pie ($8.25+) is sure to provide sweet satisfaction for an entire geometry class, or hours of edible enjoyment for one.
After five years managing a retail store, Ana realized she wanted to sell something else entirely: food. So she enrolled in culinary school, where she first honed the skills she now displays at Simplicity Wine Bar & Cafe. Her tapas range from spicy veggie empanadas served with pineapple-mango aioli to cayenne-spiced chocolate cupcakes. With numerous organic varietals to boot, a frequently updated selection of wine by the glass and bottle complements Ana's cuisine and confections.
When eyes aren't glued to Ana's artfully plated dishes, they're probably busy taking in Simplicity's nightly entertainment. The lineup includes plenty of café staples, such as poetry nights, open mics, and Sunday afternoon concerts by award-winning guitarist Jorge Arévalo Mateus. On weekends, live DJs convert the bar into a dancehall by spinning classic reggae and hip-hop tunes.
At Saverio's Stone Fire Bistro, Chef Nicola Bertolotti decks out Northern Italian cuisine and pizzas with ingredients such as filet mignon, prosciutto, goat cheese, and truffles. He and his staff hand stretch rounds of dough atop a marble counter before covering them with sauce and toppings and thrusting them into the depths of a mammoth, tiled hearth oven, where high, even heat bakes them to a delectable crunch. Pizza combinations include options such as a quartet of cheeses—mozzarella, gorgonzola, fontina, and ricotta—or mozzarella, truffle cream, ham, and truffle oil. The oven also produces pastas coated in black-truffle or vodka sauces, arriving alongside paninis and salads that cut all the richness with lemony dressings.
A burbling waterfall covered in plants and pebbles stands sentry in front of Saverio’s fieldstone façade. Inside, slatted wooden furniture, checkerboard linens, big umbrellas, and candles clustered with small wicker baskets evoke a picnic atmosphere even when the waterfall’s iced over. If diners look up, they’ll see something even more surprising: high above their heads stretches a cross section of an Italian alleyway, complete with a trompe l’oeil streetscape mural, flower boxes, roof tiles, and clotheslines strung between two “buildings” like pasta noodles in the mouths of two young Venetians in love.
After finding success as an artist, Crystal Horton moved to New York to obtain an MFA from Parsons, eventually becoming a visual designer for a French fashion company in Manhattan. Today she uses her various artistic talents to design elegant bridal gowns and recreate maps of Brooklyn—on cookies. Dubbed the Cookie Queen by Teen Vogue, Crystal began baking as a child; she would shadow her mother, who taught her the difference between a pinch and a dab and the best way to snap a stick of butter off a tree.
Intricately decorated cookies are the sweet spot of her online bakery, with designs that touch on high fashion—Birkin bags and Alexander McQueen couture—and cultural icons such as President Obama and the cast of Mad Men. She can also create custom cookies for special occasions, a service that has garnered high-profile fans and clients including Ivanka Trump and Harper’s Bazaar.