Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas in Little Italy: December Events Starting this Weekend

It’s that most wonderful time of the year, and Chinatown NYC and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York (CCCNY) are adding to their seasonal events with the First Annual Chinatown Holiday Street fair this Saturday, December 1 from 12 Noon - 5pm.  Colorful, fun, and engaging for families of all ages, the street fair will take place on Mott Street from Canal to Worth streets, Bayard Street (from Bowery to Mulberry Street), Pell Street, and Doyers Street. Be sure to stop by the stage in front of Confucius Plaza Square, adjacent to Bowery, for performances of singing, dancing, and Chinese martial arts throughout the afternoon. Of particular note are the Lion Dance at noon and the ribbon-cutting with reps from the Mayor’s office and other elected officials.  Another don't miss is the traditional tree lighting and Christmas musicale at 6:30pm at the Courtyard of the Most Precious Blood Church on 109 Mulberry Street.  It will truly show you how important community life is to New York City.  Tony Danza will be there as well.   In keeping with the spirit of Christmas and the post-Sandy recovery effort, the neighborhood’s shops will be featuring a Christmas market of sorts with specially discounted items and food.  

On December 22, the annual East Meets West Parade kicks off at 2pm along Canal and Mulberry streets, replete with lions, dragons, floats, marching bands and Santa Claus.  All events are sponsored by the Little Italy Merchants Association and the Chinatown Partnership, 212-764-6330.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Global Food Shopping Ideas Just in Time for Thanksgiving

Although I can pretty much find anything I want in Manhattan, I love the idea of world cuisine being shipped directly to my door.  And, if you live outside of NYC, this is a way to experience the culinary treats of the Big Apple as well.  From Manhattan dessert treats to the finest Alaskan seafood to Spanish wines and oils, you’ll enjoy global treats, just in time for Thanksgiving, too.

Here are some of my favorites:

If you salivate over tapas from Barcelona or olive oils that are some of the freshest in the world (my favorite is the very grassy Arbequina), you’ll want to know about DeliShop.  This Spanish food shop features everything from the finest of Spanish cooking oils to essential pastas, sauces, spices and more.  Not only does Delishop deliver to your door after just a few online clicks, but it also has an extensive list of traditional recipes for make-it-yourself world cuisine.  Some Spanish favorites include a classic paella entrée, típico cocktails and the ever-delicious tres leche cake.  Although not limited to those found in Spanish meals, selections largely draw upon an Iberian-based diet of oil, seafood, starch and more oil.  DeliShop also offers cooking classes at its four Barcelona locations, a potential vacation activity for the foodies and cravers of a bit of onsite Spanish culture.  Check out recipes, locations and food order options at
For sweeter treats to indulge yourself or your friends & family, Cookie Panache is a solid go-to.  Its bestsellers include the likes of Dulce de Leche and Red Velvet Vanilla chewy cookies, as well as Brownie and Blondie bites.  Perfect for special occasion planning, the website filters results based on the event theme.  From birthday gifts, to thank you acknowledgements, to get-well-soon packages, a wide range of sweet snacks are available.  Located in Manhattan, this gourmet bakery will alleviate any “I Miss New York” pangs. Order at           
There are no false promises when it comes to Wisconsin’s delivering as the Dairy State, especially when it comes to its selections of meat and cheeses.  Figi’s has specialized in this combination of smokehouse favorites since 1944.  The variety packs are a definite win if you’re looking for a mix of new and old tastes, combining the best of all flavors into an assortment of snack-sized cuts of Colby-Jack and Cheddar cheeses, Smokehouse Summer Sausages, and buttery Cashew and Mixed Nut Add-ins among others.  Try the Salami- or Bacon-flavored cheese if you’re feeling daring.  Order at

Sick of the grocery store’s mediocre seafood section of same-old, sad hunks of fish?  Alaska wants to change all that.  From Halibut to King Crab, Snow Crab, Shrimp, Scallops, Smoked Salmon, Rockfish, Sablefish, Black Cod and more, you’ll love the choices Coal Point Seafood offers.  Fare is purchased directly from Alaskan fishermen and shipped to your door.  Coal Point even has a same-day-caught-blast-frozen policy!  You can choose from individual samplers to variety packs, and different ounce options are available.  Halibut is the Alaskan fish of choice, so that is always a good start if you’re not sure what to buy.  Order at or call 1-800-325-3877 to order direct.  


Anyone who visits Manhattan knows that Zabar's is a must-visit, one-stop shop for all deli items.  And now’s the perfect time to order goodies for Thanksgiving, from main courses like roasted turkeys and sides such as honey roasted yams, to non-Thanksgiving but typical Zabars treats like rugelach, smoked salmon and bagels (for the day after when you’re sick of turkey), or their famous coffee beans.  You’ll spend lots of time online perusing their site at,  or call 800-697-6301 for help in selecting the perfect menu.