MEDITERRANEAN BAGEL ‘SIMIT’

As New Yorkers, we love our classic New York style bagels. But as foodies, we love to find unique foods from different Mediterranean regions and bring them into our stores. If you’ve been into one of our stores recently, you might have tried one of our “Mediterranean Bagels” – also known as a simit. We fell in love with the nutty flavor of these simits – commonly eaten throughout the Balkans and Mediterranean for breakfast or as a snack throughout the day. The twisted bread of a simit is more dense with a thick, crunchy layer of nutrient packed seeds in comparison to a classic bagel. Using a whole wheat and semolina flour the simit is lighter and less caloric – saving the bloat and a few calories doesn’t hurt! At Mangia, we love to load them with fresh whipped cream cheese, crisp sliced vegetables and layers of smoked salmon. All three locations are now carrying four delectable varieties: Plain, Sesame Seed, Poppy & Chia Seed, and Everything. Hurry in tomorrow morning, they go quick! 

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CATERING THE PERFECT PARTY

We are not only passionate about food, we are sticklers for planning a perfect party. Whether you are catering a simple breakfast or lunch for a boardroom meeting, a cocktail hour or an intimate holiday soirée, there are many components to consider when you begin organizing your event. We were recently invited to participate in a webinar hosted by our delivery partner, Seamless. The invitees were asked to discuss the elements of a winning catering menu and we wanted to share our points with you!

Mangia’s Executive Chef, David. M Perez spoke on our behalf, David had an 11-year tenure at Cipriani where he was responsible for its three New York City locations. He traveled the globe on behalf of Cipriani’s — opening or revamping properties in Hong Kong, Sardinia and LA. Of note in 2011 he opened Mr. C Beverly Hills, which swiftly earned renown as a Leading Hotels of the World property. His most recent role prior to joining Mangia was as Executive Chef of Estiatorio Milos, spearheading the opening of the Group’s sixth location on Regent Street in London – needless to say he is well versed in pulling off a seamless event – no pun intended.

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We broke down the key elements of catering a perfect event into three elements: Timing, Budget and Menu.

Timing
Choose items that can be easily prepared and that are not labor intensive – braised meats, grain salads, grilled vegetables and sides served room temperature. Also think about how simple items will be serve, do you need food warmers? Wait staff or can guest serve themselves? What is the flow of the party a sit down meal versus a standing cocktail hour dictates what menu items should be served.

Budget
How do you get the most from your budget? Understanding the menu size and the desired portions will help you get the most from your caterer. If your event is directly after work before dinner, people will be more hungry compared to an afternoon event where people may have eaten beforehand. Ordering seasonal foods helps reduce costs, out of season items are more costly for restaurants, so the price can go up when including them on your menus. Chef David recommends also including grains, legumes and pastas to stretch the meal.

Menu
When planning a menu from a catering company, think about textures, preferences, memory. Food is a powerful menu trigger, so use nostalgia when planning your menu especially around the holidays – incorporate traditional flavors or classic dishes into your assortment of foods. Secondly, when choosing menu items look at flavors and textures find a harmony of crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty etc. Balance salads, sides, with heavier dishes so that guests can eat to their preference. Be sure to include vegetarian (perhaps one vegan) and pescatarian options.

Be playful with your beverage assortment, design a cocktail or mocktail to be served as guests arrive, along with your beer and wine. Having a few interesting non-alcoholic options for guests or children displays a lot of hospitality as a host – we love serving our version of an Italian soda. mixing 1:1 parts our fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices with San Pelligrino. 

At Mangia we are mindful of culinary extremes – spicy food, raw onions and garlic or small seeds (these ingredients can make guests self conscious of their breath, teeth or create too much odor in a room.) Also, be conscious of guests religious guidelines or eating preferences gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free – we find that our antipasti salads are wonderful compromises for guests with specific preferences and are a hearty dish.

Lastly, a note from Chef David to ensure you have the right quantities of food…his rule of thumb is 5oz. of protein per person, 5oz. of sides per person and 1 piece of dessert per person.

We hope this information helps empower you to plan your perfect holiday fête. And, we are always here to help you plan! Contact catering@mangia.nyc to book your next event.

PANATĒA MATCHA

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When Mangia decided to incorporate matcha into our menus, we had to search for a company that met our uncompromising standards. After our first meeting (and taste) with PANATĒA Matcha we knew we had found our supplier.

PANATĒA sources only the finest green tea leaves, from premier tea farmers in Nishio, Japan. Due to the climate, the fertile soil and fresh water; Nishio produces tea leaves that are more nutrient filled than tea leaves grown in other regions. Their matcha is loaded with antioxidants, amino acids, chlorophyll and other vitamins and nutrients it has a subtle, earthy flavor.

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We like to think of matcha as the healthy espresso; giving you a calm alertness, not the burst and crash of coffee. Now, we are not abandoning our Italian roots, we still love an espresso – but we were open to substituting some of our daily caffeine consumption with this vibrant green tea. You can now find a PANATĒA Matcha at all three of our locations – you can sip on it in it’s pure form; prepared with hot water or try a delicious Matcha Almond Latte.

If you’re not into the lattes and pure teas, we have found a few more ways to enjoy this nutrient packed ingredient. Incorporating matcha into our baking, whipping up slightly sweet treats like our PANATĒA Matcha Crêpe Cake, Matcha Macarons and Matcha Cheese Cake. Call any of our three locations to custom order a cake or gift box.

PLANNING YOUR THANKSGIVING FEAST

Fall is one of our busiest times of year at Mangia – we are bustling behind the scenes planning holiday parties, our bakery production triples and our stores are full of customers and tourists holiday shopping in midtown.

When we were planning our Thanksgiving promotions and menus, we really wanted to set the scene for our customers. Turning our storefront on 57th street into a Thanksgiving feast with a full Thanksgiving dinner for everyone to enjoy as they passed by our location.

When it came to the menu, we felt Thanksgiving is not one of those holidays where we want to take a lot of creative liberty. Executive Chef David M. Perez prepared a full feast for us to sample. We tasted a traditional Roasted Turkey, Baked Virginia Ham, lots of delectable sides and traditional pies. One of our signature and most popular dishes in catering is our Grilled Vegetable Antipasto – its as simple as it sounds and having a few bites of the perfectly charred vegetables balances your Thanksgiving plate. Pastry Chef Wilson Morocho also introduced a new flavor to his list of famed Crêpe Cakes – Chestnut Cream Crêpe Cake loaded with over twenty layers of fresh crêpes and chestnut cream. We kept the table scape rustic with branches strewn down the center of the table in sage and poppy colors. For the place settings we wanted to contrast the rustic elements of the table decorations by using the “Mercer” collection from Crate & Barrel that is a bit more contemporary but had an organic overtone with the hammered texture to the plates. We used gold flatware to tie it all together and add that touch of holiday warmth to the table.

Our Catering team is taking orders for Thanksgiving now through November 18th, call your nearest Mangia location or email us at catering@mangia.nyc today!

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NO TRICKS, JUST TREATS

In keeping with tradition, we always design a decorated sugar cookie for seasonal holidays. We have been serving them since the very beginning, about 35 years ago. They are one of my favorite cookies we bake and since they are produced only a few times a year, it makes them that much more delicious!

Baking a perfectly sweet, buttery, flakey shortbread cookie with a delicate layer of icing is something most of us equate with cookies our mothers and grandmothers made during the holidays when we were young. In our eyes, hand decorated sugar cookies have become lost art in the cookie world, most have been outsourced to big commissary bakeries and mass produced. We bake all our sugar cookies at our 57th street location, when you come in for lunch you can smell the aromas wafting from our ovens and watch the bakers as they quickly work to decorate dozens of cookies for our gift boxes. (Forgive us for any of the design quirks, each one is decorated by hand.)

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Each season we will produce about three to five distinct sugar cookie designs to be paired with our Mangia signature cookie and brownie boxes. This year we produced Día de Muertos skulls, cobwebs, and a traditional jack-o-lantern. Sold by the dozen or in small sachets; each comes with a matching, themed grosgrain ribbon. They are the perfect treat to send to clients or share with your desk-mate.

Happy Halloween!

SCARY GOOD PASTRIES

 

At Mangia, we love to incorporate the holidays into our stores and onto our menus. Halloween is one that we get to have a lot of fun with! We even like to change our table displays the week of Halloween from something a little less traditional “fall” and turn it into something a little more spooky! At each of our locations you’ll find an assortment of homemade Halloween treats, that we bake fresh daily at our flagship 57th street location. Each year our Pastry Chef, Wilson Morocho dazzles our customers with an unexpected, and wickedly good pastries. This year one of our favorite sweet treats are the Mummy Cherry Tarts and Mini Ghost Cupcakes. After speaking with Wilson, he explained these are both easy treats to replicate in your own kitchen. By using a round pastry tart and strips of pie dough you can create a mummy face by placing the dough asymmetrically across the tart, and use pre-made candied eyes or dark and white chocolate in a fine pastry tip. To make the ghost, use a wide-mouth round pastry tip with meringue, and dark chocolate in a fine pastry tip for the eyes.

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We also introduced new French Macaron flavors; pumpkin and dark chocolate. If you’ve never tried our French Macaron’s – you are missing out, we think they compete with some of the best pâtisseries in New York (alright, we might be biased, but don’t take our word for it!)

Come in this week to pick up some of the limited edition Halloween treats, or order place an order for your office party today.

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MANGIA’S FIRST BLOG!

Our philosophy of food is simple: we respect each ingredient and only source the best, we are “geeks” for presentation and we believe that delicious food doesn’t need to be complicated. We are passionate about creating memorable experiences out of flavor alone; we create dishes so we can transport our guests on a journey from New York City to the least known corners of Italy. Most of all, we are absolute foodies through and through.

Having grown up in the Mangia business, I can vouch that we are a team of hard-working individuals who take pride in what we do and serve. When I walk into a Mangia store I see some of the same smiling faces I saw as a kid after school years ago. In this rapidly changing world, it’s awe-inspiring to me that we’ve kept our doors open for 35 years. But the reason is simple: it’s because we love what we do, which is to feed New Yorkers!

There is a sea of change happening nowadays at Mangia. We are diligently working to update our technology, refresh our interiors, improve our customer service, craft enticing new dishes and importantly, continue to raise the “culinary bar” regarding our catering, events and in-store offerings. This new website is just one of the projects that we’ve been working on behind the scenes…

Our intention for this blog is to create a space that is an extension of and a peek at all the work that goes into being New York’s go-to caterer and gourmet, casual dining spot. We will be sharing recipes, tips and tricks for the at-home chef, and most of all, our creativity.

Stay tuned!