A&A Fine Foods, which first opened its doors in 1992, helps customers line their pantry shelves or banquet tables with gourmet comestibles the likes of meat, bread, cookies, olive oil, cheese, and pasta. Behind gleaming display cases of hormone-free chicken and Boar's Head meats, A&A's butchers prepare homemade italian sausage and slice marbled cuts of grass-fed beef with the steady hands of a brain surgeon playing Jenga. The deli's staff can accommodate lunchtime cravings or catering requests by ladling bowls of house-made soups out of its percolating cauldrons and crafting hearty sandwiches or wraps with such ingredients as grilled eggplant and imported provolone.
Since 1985, Anthony Marra has treated patrons to the same traditional eats that he grew up with, based on recipes brought from Italy by his Nonna Rose and Papa Tony. Each day his deli tables populate with prosciutto, broccoli rabe, and sundried tomatoes in gourmet sandwiches, many available hot or cold, and side dishes such as meatballs, sweet fryer peppers, and seasonal stuffed artichokes complement hand-tossed, gooey pizzas in a variety of sizes. For those seeking catering for a private party, Marra’s offers traditional Italian pastas and meats sautéed in wine by the tray-full, or by the bathtub-full for those seeking to be fully immersed in Italian culture.
The chefs at The Montville Inn pamper palates with an eclectic menu of American fare. Customers can rev up taste buds with an appetizer of braised short-rib ravioli in a red-wine reduction before diving tongue-first into the seafood gumbo with diced cherry peppers served over basmati rice. Like the first European explorer to discover tomato sauce, diners can stake a claim to The Montville Inn's bar pie, a pizza topped with barbecue brisket, red onion, and mozzarella cheese. Teeth test their sharpness with the succulent 14-ounce new york strip steak, served with caramelized onions and smoked pepper bacon whipped potatoes, or the country-style pork chop with sweet italian sausage and roasted fennel. Duos can augment their meal with selections from the drink menu, which includes wines, eight beers on draught, and 11 bottled beers that long to join 99 friends on a wall. The Montville Inn, which sits atop the site of the pre–Revolutionary War Mandeville Inn, showcases a classic colonial exterior and a charming farmhouse-inspired ambiance. Overhead lighting casts a glow over the spacious dining room, which houses plank oak floors and a fireplace to warm diners chilled from harsh winters or spring breaks spent inside a walk-in freezer.
Conturso's Market pleases palates with a medley of gourmet pizzas, sandwiches, paninis, and other custom treats crafted with flavorful, homemade ingredients. The value of today's Groupon can be used toward Conturso's groceries—which include fresh pastas and specialty cooking ingredients—or toward the expansive daily lunch menu, teeming with tasties ideal for midday meals or late-night leftover parades. Quench protein cravings with the hand-rolled, 18-inch meat pie ($17.95), topped with a hearty trio of pepperoni, sausage, and meatballs, or keep it simple with the margherita pizza ($16.95), a mozzarella, basil, and olive oil–imbued disk that's fun to catch between the teeth during frisbee games. Grilled mushrooms and caramelized onions bolster the fluffy bread of John's portobello delight sandwich ($6.95 for small), while lean meat receives a tight, supportive hug in the roasted turkey panini ($7.45).
Bricks can do more than prevent a curmudgeonly wolf from blowing down your building—they can comprise an oven that makes that building swell with the scent of ambrosial paninis. At 202 Italian Bistro, a wood-burning brick oven churns out the best of Northern Italian cooking techniques and recipes, from tilapia in coconut to veal doused in a marsala wine sauce. In addition to pizza crusts sprinkled with grilled chicken and tomatoes dried by a sun—no telling which sun—the dining room’s soft lighting illuminates pork chops delivered to guests at linen-topped tables.
The Village Inn may look like an simple country kitchen, but the food is nothing short of gourmet. Chef and owner John A. Martino calls on his training at the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu to craft a menu of contemporary American Continental cuisine, which ranges from potato-crusted Chilean sea bass to a veal porterhouse topped with sautéed mushrooms. After the chef inspects the dishes for quality, presentation, and political leanings, they emerge from the kitchen to waft gourmet scents through four separate dining areas. Everyday diners sidle up to white-clothed tables amid floral carpets and drapes in the Fireplace Room, while top-shelf liquors come together to form a host of creative cocktails in the wood-lined bar. For private occasions, groups of up to 20 gather at a long oak table beneath the cozy, low ceilings of the Wine Cellar Room, and large events bask in the glow of a towering chandelier in the bright and airy expanse of The Great Room.