Venice, the delights of lagoon cuisine at home: but in New York

The initiative is the work of two Venetians, Filippo and Massimiliano Paccagnella, transplanted to the Big Apple.

Four sandwiches, a small plate of olives ascolane, sardee in saor, baccalà mantecato, sliced raw ham and grana cheese. But also: spritz and Amarone della Valpolicella. All in a completely recyclable cozy box with wooden cutlery, napkins and easy-to-use containers for the most authentic Venetian spritz possible. Only in Manhattan. In times of Covid19 Filippo and Massimiliano Paccagnella, two brothers born in Pianiga and in the Big Apple for many years (14 Filippo, CEO of the company and 7 Massimiliano) have thought of a “party box” to ferry customers to Venice even from their homes. They are the same people who brought the Venetian bacaro to New York a few years ago, complete with ombre and cicchetti. The first step of the sandwich in New York was the street food at Smorgasburg, a trendy weekly market in Brooklyn where only those who can bring some innovation to the food are admitted among the hundred stallholders.

Overseas success

The second front was catering, then in 2017 they opened the restaurant with around twenty seats and they were joined there by Davide Pedon from Padua, export manager of the family’s food industry. “Now, in times of pandemic, we have decided not to stop and relaunch,” explains Filippo, “the offices are closed and will remain closed until October, Manhattan is empty, everyone is home working. That’s why we thought of the possibility of proposing a full-scale aperitif but also at home”. And the menu is rich: there is the ‘basic’ box ($58) with four sandwiches, two cicchetti and two wines, but you can also go further by ordering different specialities. “We have already had the first 15 pre-orders,” explains Filippo, but the new business will start next Thursday, 11 February. Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Reservations can be made on the website and thanks to a partnership with Doordash and Postmate the boxes will be delivered in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Message of hope

“Ours is a message of hope, a tribute to all those who have a business,” says Filippo, “here, as in the Veneto region, those in the restaurant business have to think about how to manage this situation. We try to think positive. In America they say: if they give you lemons, you make lemonade, and that’s the meaning, you have to reinvent yourself somehow. Try it because sometimes it works!”.

Corriere del Veneto

5 February 2021 (modified on 5 February 2021 | 15:49)

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