The Ravioli Shop's founder, Bill Kenney, feels so much pride in his store’s fresh-made products that if he notices a customer holding an odd pairing of ravioli and sauce, he’ll tactfully and enthusiastically suggest a swap. The rest of the team demonstrates the same dedication to furnishing excellent meals, guiding patrons through a dozen ravioli varieties and five regular sauces with personal advice, a handy online chart, and the ability to decipher the true desires of growling stomachs.
Staffers might recommend pairing their seasonal pumpkin ravioli with a sage and brown-butter sauce or perhaps their decadent lobster ravioli with vodka-cream sauce made with slow-pasteurized cream from a local dairy. In addition to pasta, the staff also bakes fresh bread daily, crafting semolina loaves, baguettes, and six varieties of focaccia early each morning. All ravioli, sauces, and breads are made from scratch, with 100% durum flour and fresh eggs infusing each sheet of pasta and roasted veggies and fresh-ground cheeses providing soft pockets of filling.
Riley Greider is the mind, hands, and sweet teeth behind Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe, a gourmet bakery specializing in cupcakes. More than 128 flavors rotate across the shop’s menu in groups of 13 to 20 each day, baked daily in small batches from fresh ingredients.
With such an enormous repertoire of recipes, the cupcake case has room for classics such as carrot cake alongside fancier flavors such as cinnamon french toast and cherry crème brûlée—not to mention the decidedly outlandish, such as loaded baked potato and Game Day Chili. While retaining a home-baked look, many of the cakelets wear elaborate toppers of sprinkles, frosting swirls, or fruit. All this creativity won the shop the title of Best Cupcakes in City Newspaper’s 2011 Readers’ Choice poll.
The staff at Colie's Cafe seeks to embody the affability and good nature of Albert Coleman "Colie" Linehan, a Canandaigua native born in 1917 and known for his joviality. According to Metromix, owner Michael Linehan, Colie's grandson, crafts hearty sandwiches, wraps, and pizzas to cement his station in the family lineage. In addition to its specialty sandwiches served on white, wheat, rye, or a roll, the eatery offers wraps, quesadillas, and sandwiches served in gluten-free tortillas as well as menu items with fewer than 600 calories for diners with a fear of large numbers.
When Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began perfecting their bagel recipe with the help of a professional NYC bagel maker in 1983, the bagel was still an anomaly in the food world—it was geographically and culturally still isolated in New York City. Fueled by a desire to change that, the duo opened up the first Bruegger's deli with the hope of eventually introducing the rest of the country to the bagel. Brue and Dressell have since realized their dream, sharing their distinctive recipes and culinary traditions at 300 locations spread across 26 states. To this day, they oven-bake their centerless bread rolls every morning and afternoon, populating counter displays that also brim with daily made breads, Vermont cream cheese, and custom-roasted coffee.
Executive Chef Phillip Smith and his network of chefs still use the original five-ingredient recipe for their dough, which they shape into more than 20 bagel varieties. Because they draw from each region's local recipes and from dialogue and Pictionary games with local consumers, certain menu items may vary from store to store across the country. The bagels are often served with Bruegger's eclectic cream cheeses such as bacon scallion or pumpkin, or as sandwiches with meats, cheeses, and veggies often sourced from local or organic produce. Coffe gets just as much attention, with house blends of 100% arabica coffee.
On Valentine’s Day, 2012, Mattie’s Restaurant & Bakery first opened its doors to the public, supplying visitors with authentic international recipes and comforting soul food made by a team of five chefs. From its cozy, wood-paneled location in the historic Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, Mattie’s kitchen singles out a different world cuisine six nights a week: Tuesday night means Italian recipes, Wednesday night is Caribbean night, and Sunday is vegetarian night, honoring the cuisine of the legendary Vegetaria. Customers can also place catering orders, sustaining get-togethers of any type with platters of hearty entrees as well as assortments of cookies and desserts, such as chocolate-truffle cheesecake and bread pudding.
For those who suffer from food allergies, it’s typically impossible to have a delicious, home-baked cake and eat it too. But Kelly Halligan hopes to change that. Fueled by a desire to feed dietary-restricted dessert lovers—including those who are vegan or sensitive to gluten—Kelly hand-makes cookies and cupcakes that are free of dairy products, preservatives, and allergens yet taste like the real deal. She draws from her own family’s passed-down recipes, modifying them to remove any troublesome ingredients. But she still prepares a slew of conventional baked goods in both traditional and specialty flavors, which she proudly claims are indistinguishable from her many vegan offerings.