Had the butchers of Aaron’s Gourmet not been hired to prepare glatt kosher meats for delivery, they could perhaps have survived by manufacturing Russian matryoshka dolls—they have a knack for nesting. Supervised by Rabbi Israel Mayer Steinberg, Aaron's Gourmet's menu boasts many versions of poultries collapsed inside of each other, from turduckens—a hen inside of a duck inside of a turkey—to gooseduckenquails, a similar concoction that begins with a quail and ends with a goose. These creations join an encyclopedic list that includes exotic cuts of pheasant and oxtail, traditional slabs of Black Angus and smoked salmon, organic meats, and grass-fed roasts. Once Aaron’s processes an order, which can be made online, by fax, over the phone, or by smoke signal from an empty grill, the company generally ships the package overnight via UPS. Additionally, Aaron’s can cater for groups of up to 500 people, building holiday meals or barbecue-style cookouts from meats that can be prepared in American, Japanese, European, or Middle Eastern styles.
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).
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.
Havin’ A Party owner Larry Scott is the life of the party—whether he attends it or not. Larry loves to delight crowds as a magician, a role he’s played for the Brooklyn Arts Council, and he’s also happy to be the DJ. But as Havin’ A Party owner, Larry can also answer the needs of every party, from balloons to piñatas to special effects entertainment.
For the past 29 years, Havin’ A Party has furnished party goers with full-body costumes, ranging from a laughing bunny to Abe Lincoln. Larry also honors his own interest in magic with an extensive supply of tricks and gags—you can fool your friends with a clock that runs backwards, or shock your parents with a fake-arm trick. And the store also supplies more-practical supplies, such as rental chairs, tables, and paper goods.
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.
The family-run Astoria Sports Complex offers batting cages and indoor soccer, and has one of the largest fitness centers around. The facility got its start more than 30 years ago, when owner Steve Poliseno converted an abandoned ice house, purchased at auction, into the gigantic sports complex it is today. The most recent addition to the facility is a gigantic, Olympic-sized swimming pool, where kids can take lessons and prepare to be the Model U.N. delegate from Atlantis.