Whether you’re a seasoned cook on the hunt for a special ingredient—quail eggs, rabbit, foie gras, kumquats—or a prepared-foods fan craving rack of lamb or lemon-ricotta cheesecake, this family-owned market has your culinary needs covered. We recently took a tour of the new Greenwich store (the seventh location in the Citarella chain) with owner Joe Gurrera, who purchased the 103-year-old New York establishment in the ’80s when it was still a seafood market. We were dazzled by the rainbows of artfully displayed organic produce, the butcher’s case filled with hanging, dry-aged prime beef and more. We explore some of the shop’s standouts.
WHAT’S IN STORE
With its roots in seafood and connections at Fulton Fish Market, the store carries a broad selection of ocean (and lake) edibles: soft-shell crabs, stone crab claws, oysters and clams, octopus, rainbow trout and dozens of other delicacies on ice. The in-house fishmongers make their own seafood sausage and salmon-and-swordfish burgers. You can call ahead to order a seafood or sushi platter.
Hosting a casual dinner or an elegant cocktail party? Piece of cake with the extensive prepared foods. Entrées include dishes like shrimp alla Toscana and risotto primavera; there are carving stations for beef, pork, lamb; and homemade pastas and sauces. “The gnocchi we make is light as a feather,” says Joe of his favorite pasta in store. While you’re stocking up, plan a cheese course or even a wine-and-cheese party (there’s an adjacent wine shop) and choose from more than 300 cheeses. Indulge in the highbrow (caviar, truffles) or home cooking (strombolis and Brooklyn-style pizzas). Of course, there’s a bakery with everything from fruit tarts to red velvet cupcakes.
Beef is aged on the premises and rivals what you’d get at a top steak house. “You’re not going to get better beef anyplace else,” says Joe. “The only way to appreciate it, is to buy a steak someplace else and cook them side by side. You’ll taste the difference.”
For those who want to linger over a latte or a full meal, there’s a sizeable seating area with wood tables and a marble-topped bar, plus free WiFi. At Citarella To Go, you can grab baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, omelets and paninis as well as less-expected items such as lobster rolls, soft-shell-crab sandwiches and fish tacos. There’s also a juice bar with fresh-pressed juices and a coffee bar.
Bring some of your favorite foods as a hostess gift with one of the baskets filled with Citarella’s private-label pasta sauces, cheeses, chocolates, fruits, snacks and other munchies.