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Anyone else excited about indoor dining? Get the inside scoop on the latest plans in NYC and a unique perspective from Nick D’Ambrosio the blogger behind @drunkennewyork 

With a vaccine now available and glimpses of normalcy on the horizon – at the top of most foodies lists is indoor dining. In this blog post, you will learn more about the latest plans in NYC and what to expect over the next few months, and the experience. For foodies across the country, there is a lot to be excited for. While the Indoor Dining experience will take time to get back to ‘normal’ – it feel so close that we can almost taste it!


Here it is gang, the moment so many of us as patrons and operators have been waiting for! It has been nearly two months since NYC eateries were allowed to have guests sit indoors, and prior to the brief fall reopening, restaurants were closed to indoor dining for seven months.

Returning Back to Restaurant Life

Operators and patrons alike have been chomping at the bit to continue with restaurant life normalcy. Life as an operator has been a struggle to say the least. Many establishments have shuttered their doors for good, over 1,000 to be exact, while others battled harsh winter cold with outdoor setups and take-out business, hoping and praying Governor Cuomo would allow them to make a living soon.

Indoor dining will resume starting, Valentine’s Day, February 14th in NYC, but not without some restrictions and best practices to keep all of us healthy and safe. Restaurants, cafes, and eateries will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity, but some worry if this is enough.

For the smaller establishments, this means potentially 6-8 guests at a time, while the larger ones can serve 10 to 15 times that number of guests. Also Gov. Cuomo mentioned the above will only be allowed if the city continues to see declining Covid-19 positivity and hospitalization rates.

We all need to do our part, to make this a success

It is up to us as individuals to help our restaurant communities by continuing to practice social distancing, wearing our masks, washing our hands, being tested often to help lessen the spread of this pandemic, and if eligible and comfortable, getting the vaccine. The sooner we can battle this virus back, the sooner life can return to normal.

Please be patient. Restaurant owners and workers are trying their best to accommodate everyone, whether it be with take out, outdoor dining, or the upcoming indoor allowance. Remember the operators and staff are required to follow guidelines, rules, and best practices set forth by the CDC and local health officials to keep a safe environment for all of us, including but not limited to, temperature screening, tracing information, social distancing, as well as hygienic best practices. Furthermore, we need to mindful of the restaurant teams serving us, and the fact that they, too, are putting their life on the line, to accommodate us, as we start to enjoy this long-awaited dining shift. You can read about the aforementioned, and full list of best practices on the local NYC small business and health department websites.

We can do this together

Our community thanks all of you for your continued support and patronage, whether it be for outdoor dining, takeout, or soon to be indoor dining. Together when can help our local restaurants navigate through these tough times and keep ourselves and those around us healthy and safe. Cheers to seeing you at a table indoors soon!


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Written by Jennifer the food blogger behind Instagram at @jeyang.foodfunadventures

Are you traveling and looking for a Must Try Detroit Area Restaurant? You won’t want miss out on Luigi’s Trattoria and Pizzeria.

Hi. I’m Jennifer from @jeyang.foodfunadventures. In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an order to close all bars and restaurants dine-in from March 16th, 2020. With my outgoing personality and not getting to celebrate my birthday in late March during the stay-at-home order, I missed the experience of dining in. With small businesses in the restaurant industry struggling, I decided to take the opportunity to help out. So, over this past year, I have been working with various mom and pop restaurants in Metro Detroit, to promote their product, and increase their carry out sales, during these trying times. 

On December 11th, 2020, I visited a family-owned restaurant in Livonia, Michigan called Luigi’s Trattoria Pizzeria located at 31530 Plymouth Rd. Where did the restaurant’s name come from? Filippo Mainella, who is the owner, named it after his father, Luigi. Luigi moved to the United States from Italy when Filippo was a child. Filippo gets to work alongside with his son, Tommaso Mainella, who is the General Manager.

History of Luigi’s

Now, let us go back 20 years. When Luigi’s first opened in October 2000, it began simply as a carry-out pizzeria with a counter service. But as the years moved on, the Mainella family realized a shift in dining, and evolved as a full-service restaurant to serve their hungry customers. With the existing infrastructure and more customers ordering entrées other than pizza, the kitchen was not suited properly to handle the high volume, so they addressed the situation by closing the restaurant for two months at the beginning of January 2020 to remodel, something they had been discussing about since early 2018.

Usually right after the New Years is when the restaurant is less busy, so the family remodeled the kitchen, and spruced up the dining room and bar area. Filippo was ecstatic about the new updated kitchen. He brought in an additional stove and changed the setup in the kitchen, to better handle customer’s orders, and make it easier to continue serving its trademark foods. With the reopening on March 1, 2020 comes a new identity, which better reflects its mission and menu. The restaurant got rid of its old name: Luigi’s Pizza Café and replaced it with the name that it is today: Luigi’s Trattoria and Pizzeria.

While the menu remains the same as before, listed below are some of the dishes I got to try!

Let us start with the appetizers.

Must Try Detroit Area Restaurant: Luigi’s Trattoria and Pizzeria – Featured Food:

Arancini

Arancini is an Italian snack consisting of a ball of rice; typically, risotto, vegetables, mozzarella coated with panko breadcrumbs, and deep fried with a side of marinara sauce.

Chicken Marsala

One of their most popular Italian entrees is the Chicken Marsala. The chicken breast is coated and briefly sauteed. It is then removed from the pan, which is then used to make a Marsala reduction sauce with cream and mushrooms.

Build Your Own Pasta

Everyone has their own preferences, so Luigi’s offer an option to build your own pasta. For example, I built an angel hair with Norcina sauce topped with Italian Sausages.

Popeyes Pizza

You of course cannot forget about their pizza since it originally specialized as a carryout pizzeria. One of their popular pizzas is called Popeye. It is a white pizza topped with spinach, roasted red peppers, fontina, provolone, mozzarella, and herbs.

You do not want to miss out on the desserts from Luigi’s because they offer tiramisu and cannoli with chocolate chips!

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a no-bake Italian dessert combining espresso-dipped ladyfingers, and a creamy sweet mascarpone cream, topped with cocoa powder.

Cannoli

Cannoli consists of a tube-shaped shell of deep-fried pastry dough that are filled with homemade cream sprinkled with chocolate chips.

Food Spread

Luigi’s Trattoria Pizzeria is hands down one of the best Italian restaurants I have been to and a must try Detroit area restaurant. Although I have not tried their entire menu, everything I have eaten was absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend it for anyone in the Metro Detroit area. 

The current full menu for the restaurant can be found at http://luigistrattoriapizzeria.com. If you want to place an order at Luigi’s Trattoria Pizzeria, you call in at 734-261-0600 or order online! They also offer delivery up to a 6-mile radius.

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