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Piccolo Cafe means “imported from Italy.” Okay, that’s not a direct translation. But the company, started by partners who hail from the Bologna area, has been serving New York City since 1938 with a passionate style that puts them a cut above the rest. With three “standing” restaurants and one full-service restaurant in Manhattan (on the Upper West SideMidtown East, and in Times Square), there’s plenty of space for Piccolo Cafe to incorporate Italian art and literature into their décor. Online, a mini-market of canned truffles, olive oils, and Fabbri Amarena cherries are available for customers. And Piccolo Cafe catering delivers refined Italian breakfast sandwiches, panini, and pasta spreads with equal amounts care and class.

Perhaps most striking? New Yorkers—who are notoriously hard to impress—notice. The breakfast editors at Serious Eats admired Piccolo Cafe’s egg sandwich, “The Works,” calling the invention “rich, savory, and well-balanced.” At Harper’s Bazaar, model Nina Agdal revealed that her day doesn’t start without Piccolo breakfast and coffee. Looking for a little live music or a cocktail? Join the rest of the Piccolo customers who fill sidewalks on warm weekend nights before hitting the Beacon. Whether you need catering for a casual lunch-and-learn seminar, or you’re hosting a festive evening gathering, here’s how to bring the best of Piccolo Cafe to your office.

Piccolo Cafe sandwich

Popular Dishes

No matter the meal, the most-beloved items from Piccolo Cafe feature imported or housemade Italian ingredients. For breakfast, that’s sandwiches layered with peppery prosciutto and arugula, or ham and cheese. (Croissants and super strong coffee are included, too.) Looking for egg sandwiches you won’t find at the corner bodega? Design an all-Italian platter with Parmigiana cheese, eggs and truffle, or “The Works,” which is layered with salty prosciutto, funky truffles, and creamy Parmigiana.

Come lunchtime, you’ve got tough decisions to make: panini, pasta, or salad? They’re simple dishes, in theory. But when they’re made with quality ingredients and prepared by Piccolo Cafe catering, you may have to order more than one—or more than once—to feel satisfied. Think toasty pressed focaccia panini filled with fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella, or creamy eggplant with truffle pecorino and prosciutto. Have a hankering for pasta? Spring for potato gnocchi with light tomato sauce or bright creamy pesto, cheesy lasagna with flavorful meat sauce, or orecchiette with broccoli and peppery Parmigiana.

Want something sweeter to round off your meal? Nothing’s better than a tray of assorted Italian cookies or mini chocolate-covered cannoli for a crowd. And you have to try the watermelon and feta or bufala cheese salad—customers love the freshness of Piccolo Cafe’s produce and the display’s colorful combination.

Piccolo Cafe pasta

Portion Sizes

Breakfast spreads and panini from Piccolo Cafe catering serve five to seven guests. This makes ordering for a small meeting or a large group a total breeze. When you start to scale up, pasta and salads are served in packages that offer plenty of options. Ordering for ten? A choice of two pasta or salad entrées makes for an mmmm-worthy main. Fifteen guests? Choose three tasty entrées. Twenty? Then you’ve got your choice of four gnocchi, penne, ravioli, and salad dishes to make a hefty, hearty spread.

If you want more variety or to create a dinner-like spread, the side dishes from Piccolo Cafe catering are portioned accordingly. One order feeds half the headcount of each entrée. For more formal affairs, try roasted brussels sprouts or sautéed broccoli. Need finger food? Opt for miniature meatballs. And if you don’t want the sauce on those pasta dishes to go to waste, order delicately toasted garlic bread to encourage sopping up.

Piccolo Cafe sandwich

When to Order

Some days, the best lunch in New York City means boxes of pizza and trays of super-meaty pasta dishes. But on those occasions you want lighter Italian dishes, or a healthier, streamlined menu of recipes prepared with fresh ingredients and care—call Piccolo Cafe catering. Their attention to quality, smart portion sizes, and creative presentation make each meal an experience.

Looking for fast-casual Italian in Manhattan?

Place your order with Piccolo Cafe

Written by:

Jacqueline Raposo

Jacqueline Raposo is a food writer and podcast producer based out of New York City. She has written features and columns for clients including Saveur magazine, Plate magazine, Tasting Table, Serious Eats, and The Village Voice, and produced audio stories for Heritage Radio Network and Live from Prince Street. When not reporting about or eating food, you can find her in Riverside Park with her dog, Mitra, working off the prosciutto.

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