Inspired by cuisines of the world, Collette at Sunflower Catering whips up meals with seasonal and natural ingredients, as well as pinches of exotic spice. From harissa-infused Israeli-style couscous and hoisin chicken to American-style chicken pot pie, Sunflower Catering customizes its menus to suit hosts' tastes and budgets. Sunflower Catering sets up each meal buffet-style and returns to collect loaned servingware after guests have gone home or curled up under the table.
As the sun rises each morning, chefs Lisa Romero and Lora Tusa are already awake and toiling in The Cupcake Corner's kitchen, crafting batches of artisan cupcakes, cakes, and baked goods. They whip together more than 30 regular cupcake flavors, such as cotton candy and french toast with bacon, and dream up a new flavor each week baked with high-quality ingredients such as Vahlrona cocoa and Cacao Barry chocolate. The miniature delicacies pair splendidly with handcrafted ice creams in flavors such as butter pecan and steamy beverages including Colombian coffee, caramel lattes, and Harvey & Sons teas. For breakfast, the chefs bake up english scones and muffins, and lunchtime yields sandwiches on bagels and croissants.
Across the street stands their 1,500-square-foot shin-dig space, where upbeat staffers host birthday parties, bridal showers, and other special events. Personalized activities, such as jewelry-making, karaoke, and impromptu cupcake fights, make events all the more memorable.
Joe's Meat & Gourmet Deli truly offers a sandwich to sate every craving. The menu includes everything from classic Italian paninis to numerous internationally inspired wraps—such as the Germany wrap, which combines liverwurst, potato salad, and horseradish cheese. The handheld meals feature quality Boar’s Head meats, and many come with the customer’s choice of salad or soup. The deli’s catering menu is similarly extensive, ranging from platters of lasagna, veal, or ribs to 6-foot long heroes that can double as limbo sticks at parties.
At Villa Rustica, charming murals that speak of Italy’s countryside encircle a dining room filled with classic Italian décor and cuisine. Take tongues on a luxury cruise with the clams oreganata, which consists of six baked Little Neck clams lounging languidly on a plate ($9.95), or drum up appetites with fried zucchini sticks dunked in Italian tomato sauce ($7.95). Deep-sea dinner divers can fish for shell-dwellers with the linguine pescatore, pasta topped with shrimp, mussels, calamari, and clams and sautéed in a choice of marinara, fra diavolo, or garlic and virgin olive oil ($17.75), while birdivores can spear a hearty serving of chicken rollatini, a dish that’s stuffed with prosciutto and romano and mozzarella cheeses, and sautéed in a marsala wine sauce with mushrooms ($17.50). Brick-oven pizzas, baked Old World style, arrive as 10-inch disks bearing the distinctive marks of margherita ($8.50), vegetarian ($10.50), and fra diavolo ($10.50). Wash away your mouth’s leftovers with an espresso ($3), a glass of zinfandel, or a beer imprisoned in a bottle ($4.25).
The culinary artists at Xaga Sushi furl comestibles from a menu that gives diners glimpses of sashimi sea legs and flirtatious fusion winks. During roll call, guests give shout outs to a Pink Lady roll ($12) and her mix of spicy crab, eel, avocado, and tobiko, all wrapped in a pink soy paper. Caribbean rolls ($12) sparkle with a regal blend of eel, spicy crunch tuna, avocado, and a four-tiered crown of caviar ($12). Those who prefer their aquatic life cooked may scale Xaga's Snow Mountain rolls of tempura shrimp ($11), and others toss black pepper steak cubes ($15) across tables like a game of meat dice in the alley.
With chef Joseph Cannella at the gustatory helm, Bourbon Street Cafe serves up tasty Cajun meals that have earned it an award for Best Brunch on a Budget from Page Six Magazine. Dishes such as blackened catfish and New Orleans po boys compete for attention with the house-specialty seafood gumbo and jambalaya, in which chicken and shrimp carouse with ground zydeco notes in a creole-sauce-slathered nest of spicy rice and andouille sausage. The large eatery further captures the essence of a New Orleans–style café with its colorful wall murals, fringed tabletop lamps, and plates accompanied by Mardi Gras beads, and its multiple flat-screen TVs light up with Sunday football action when the New York Scallywags play the New England Ne’er-do-wells.
Meats, cheeses, fruits, and veggies line the counters and display cases at DaVinci Gourmet Market, where chefs draw upon a palette of fresh ingredients to compose take-home entrees and catered meals each day. To-go containers nearly overflow with wild-rice salad or crab cakes, and entrees of grilled salmon or roasted chicken make for ephemeral table centerpieces. The sun rises over omelets and traditional two-egg breakfasts, and the lunch menu’s specialty paninis invoke the Leaning Tower of Pisa with their stacked toppings and unstable groundwork of toasted ciabatta bread.