Kid's Eat Free: Arte Cafe UWS Celebrates 25 Years!

As an expecting UWS mommy to be, I want to welcome all moms and kids for a very special "Kids Eat Free" promotion my husband and I are launching at Arte Cafe on the UWS - 106 W 73rd St. This offer is available Monday - Thursday, just show the below special offer! 

It's a wonderful way to mingle with other moms and get to know each other more, not to mention great food and a cozy environment is an additional plus! 

When I moved to NY from CA nine years ago, I quickly discovered that it's a big, little city. Arte Cafe is a warm and welcoming neighborhood spot that became my "go-to." Years later, my husband renovated the restaurant for our beautiful wedding day. Arte Cafe is now celebrating 25 years and still remains a neighborhood favorite! It's a special place on the UWS, with two private rooms and families have celebrated the most meaningful special occasions with us.

We all have to eat, so why not dine with us? We're so neighborhood friendly we even have a stroller valet! Come enjoy a great afternoon with us! I look forward to seeing you there. 

"Fall in Love with Taking Care of Yourself"

Arancini Bocca di Bacco

arancini balls When the weather is gloomy, I always find cooking to be a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening. It's cozy, the house is warm and fragrant from the stove simmering away, and you can always open a bottle of your favorite wine to sip while you cook! And, when it's all done, you have a wonderful meal to enjoy together. It almost makes me thankful for the clouds!

One of my favorite classic Italian dishes to cook at home is Arancini, Italian-style saffron rice balls. With Earth Day this week, I was reminded of how important it is to reduce our waste in every capacity, and food is no exception! This is a perfect dish to prepare using leftover risotto from the previous days dinner. Never throw away ingredients that you can reinvent in a new, delicious dish!

You can choose to customize your Arancini based on your taste, or what you have on-hand, but the general way to make them uses risotto, mozzarella, egg,  and bread crumbs.  You'll mix the pre-made risotto, eggs, and bread crumbs together and form them into balls before adding your mozzarella into the center of each, rolling in additional bread crumbs and frying lightly in hot oil. At Bocca di Bacco we serve these delicious risotto balls with a delicious red sauce, which I highly recommend--and of course, every Italian dish is better paired with a glass of wine!

What's your favorite way to re-invent leftover ingredients? Share your tips in the comments!

'Tis the Season to spice up your Holiday Menus

Reserve your Place at the Table Today


This is my absolute favorite time of year - The weather is crisp and my favored fruits and vegetables like, butternut squash, pumpkin, artichoke and figs are in season! It's always around this time when I start planning my menus for the Holiday's. First up is Thanksgiving and this year I'm doing something completely different.

'Tis the season to indulge in specialty wines and one-of-a-kind menus. As Executive Chef and Culinary Director of BDB, I'm announcing a limited holiday edition of "Kristin's Table." Looking for exciting new dishes for your Thanksgiving Feast? Join me to learn new recipe's and flavors through a five course tasting menu with Italian wine pairings. You'll enjoy this intimate tasting in the private cellar room of Bocca Di Bacco Chelsea, 169 9th Ave Corner of 20th St.

Walk away with recipes, gift bags, memories and more!

Now taking reservations for Tuesday November 18th, 7:30pm.

Limited Seating Available. $115 per person

Reserve your seat today by emailing

*a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the H.O.P.E. Foundation

Getting ICED on July 4th!

Image July 4th is almost here! If you happen to celebrate big with friends and family then this is a recipe that will rock their socks off. After a long day of grilling, there's nothing better than cooling off in the heat with a little Italian Granita. Think of it as shaved ice, but BETTER.

You can make granita so easily, without the need of ice cream machines. All you'll need is a freezer, a blender, fruit, sugar and water. Yes, just 3 ingredients! Flavors range from coffee to wine to fruit to herbs. Once you know the basic recipe, you can make pretty much any version of this Italian summer classic.

Personally, I love mixing all the seasonal fruit together to make one super flavorful and fruity granita. Specifically I like the blend of strawberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots or melons combined with the citrus zest of a lemon or orange. Fresh mint is a wonderful compliment as well, but feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking.

Here's what you will need:

1/4 cup Simple Syrup or Agave Syrup

1lb Fresh Fruit

1/4 cup water

Here's how you do it:

1. In a blender, place your fresh fruit of choice along with either a squeeze of citrus juice or a few splashes of water. Add your simple syrup or agave syrup. The liquid is what will help the fruits puree into a smooth consistency.

2. Once pureed, our into a cooled bowl for chilling. Here you can add your fresh herbs, zest, alcohol, vanilla extract or other added flavors.

3. Place in the freezer and scrape well with a fork every 3 to 4 hours until frozen and fluffy in consistency.

When it comes to a granita, it is really about tasting as you go and checking consistency. Don't be shy to add a bit more water if your puree is looking a bit thick, or lessening the simple syrup if the fruits are a little on the sweet side.

I hope you enjoy making some summer granitas!

-Chef K


Sole Di Roma- A Summer Cocktail

While the city is heating up, what's a better time than now to start gearing up for summer cocktails! One of the house favorites is our Sole Di Roma. This bright orange beauty is a perfect party starter and easy to make with just a few main ingredients. The best part? It's light and refreshing, perfect for spring and summer. I happen to love this cocktail because it's perfect for brunch, lunch and cocktail parties. 



Now, I won't be able to give out our exact recipe for the Sole Di Roma, but I can tell you what's in it! This is what you'll need:

  • Aperol- This is what gives it that gorgeous bright orange color. It's considered Italy's favorite aperitif.
  • Limoncello- Another favorite of Italy! Limoncello is slightly sweet and gives a nice rounded citrus flavor
  • Orange Juice- The juice serves as the body for the cocktail. I would suggest using freshly squeezed for the best results. 
  • Prosecco- What would a summer cocktail be without a little Italian Prosecco to top it off! Give it a little splash of bubbles to round it out and make it nice and crisp.

Aren't you craving a cocktail now? I AM! Try making our Sole Di Roma and be sure to share your pics and comments with me! Tag your creation with @BoccaDiBaccoNYC! Let's see those cocktails!

-Chef K

Branzino- Perfect for Spring

Image I thought it would be great to share one of my go-to recipes for dinnertime with you all. Fish is so wonderful during the spring and summer months, and is super quick to make. We should be enjoying these long sunny days, not slaving in the kitchen, right?! :)

This is an impressive, full of flavor Branzino dish that I love to make for guests, or for me and my hubby when we are having a night in together.

Here's what you'll need:

Ingredients: (4) 6-oz Branzino fillets 2 lbs red potatoes 1 lb broccoli rabe 1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil 2 sliced garlic cloves 1/2 tsp rosemary Sea salt Pepper, to taste

1. Rinse branzino filets, and run your hand over them to check for any bones.

Be extra careful when doing this! You don't want anyone accidentally getting stuck with a bone! Fish should always be firm in texture, not dull in color and smell fresh from the ocean, not "fishy" as they say.

2. Brush extra virgin olive oil on each filet and season with sea salt and pepper.

Freshly cracked black pepper is always best and adds great texture.

3. Grill both sides for 3 minutes.

Start skin side down to create a nice crust on the fish.

4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook broccoli rabe for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice cold water.

You want to make sure you don't overcook the broccoli rabe. Don't walk away! You still want the broccoli rabe to maintain it's beautiful green color. By putting it in the ice water you stop the cooking and preserve the color.

5. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 garlic cloves.

You don't want to burn the garlic, so just brown until lightly golden. 

6. Add broccoli rabe into skillet and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

You want them to blend with the gorgeous garlicy goodness you just created!

7. In a large roasting pan, spread cubed potatoes evenly, and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove stems from rosemary and sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F.

This side dish is great paired with pork chops, or actually, ANYTHING! So keep this one handy! I suggest beginning cooking with dish first so that you are able to time yourself in the kitchen when putting the complete dish together.

ENJOY! I know you're gonna love it! Feel free to comment with your questions or sharing your experience.

Snow Day Recipes


New York City just saw its first big snowstorm of the season, and winter has only just begun! When it’s chilly and blustery outside, the last thing I want to do is brave the outdoors, but I still want to enjoy a nice meal. So I came up with a couple easy recipes to warm up even the coldest of snow days.

For breakfast, frittatas are always a nice option. There are no rules when it comes to making your own. Sautee any veggies of your choice in an oven-safe skillet with some olive oil, whisk in eggs and and cook on the stove for about five minutes, then transfer to a 400 degree oven for about ten more minutes. Frittatas are perfect for snowy days because you can keep it on the counter or in the fridge, and they’re good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Another snow day favorite is Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. It’s a great option because it only takes four ingredients to make a warm, satisfying meal. Boil your spaghetti to al dente, mix in butter, Parmesan cheese, and cracked pepper and voila, you have an Italian original sure to satisfy all tastes.

Hope you enjoy these snowed-in recipes. Remember: stay warm and eat well!

-Chef K

Mouth of the WIne God!

Exciting news! Bocca Di Bacco will soon be serving our OWN red wine! Our Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is from the east-central region of Italy called Abruzzo. It will be a dry, flavorful red with soft tannins. Bocca di Bacco in Italian means “mouth of the wine god,” so it’s only fitting that we have our very own wine!


With our new wine debuting, I thought it would be a great time to give you some tips on which wines I suggest that pair best with some of my favorite Bocca di Bacco menu items. For our oven roasted Salmone Bocca Di Bacco, I enjoy a crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc like our Dorigo 2011 to cut through the buttery fish and caramelized onions. When pairing with chicken, like our Pollo Al Rosmarino, most people choose a white like a chardonnay. However, you can also choose a juicy red like a pinot noir or zinfandel. I find that the fruity red adds a burst of berry acidity and complements the chicken's delicate flavor. When it comes to steak and other bold meats, like our Tagliata Al Tagliere, I recommend a strong Cabernet or Syrah. These full-bodied wines have tannins that can stand up to the fatty, bold flavored angus skirt steak while still giving you their fruity undertones.

For dessert, I actually suggest serving brandy If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend changing up your usual port. Here you can see one of our dessert brandy options at our Chelsea bar. Smooth and sweet, they add just the right finish. ;)


Not only are we debuting our very own wine, but we are also holding a fabulous contest for its label design! So, if you or someone you know is interested in having their design on our wine label and win a $500 NYCRG gift card, you can find out more contest information here!

Good luck!

-Chef K

Semifreddo! A Summertime Treat


One of my favorite summertime treats is an Italian favorite. Semifreddo! It is an icy, light treat that can easily be made at home. When you’re craving some gelato or ice cream, it can be a little intimidating to consider making it yourself. I’m happy to tell you that semifreddo is a cinch!

At Bocca Di Bacco, we make our own semifreddo with chocolate shavings and hint of espresso. However, you can make whatever type of semifreddo you like! Citrus, fruity or coffee flavored semifreddos are always super yummy. It just depends on what you blend into the mixture.

Here is a recipe I pulled from one of my personal inspirational chefs, Giada De Laurentiis that I think you all can try at home. This one happens to be a citrus based recipe and is perfect for summer! With just a little patience and  few ingredients, you will be enjoying this frozen treat in no time!




I love a good, old fashioned pesto on my pasta. But sometimes, it’s good to mix it up and have a little fun with the classic sauce. To jazz up any dinner, try drizzling pesto over veggies, poultry, and fish. You could also spread it over some bread and enjoy it as a modified version of bruschetta or as a replacement for mayo on a sandwiches, for a nice healthy substitute.

You can also switch up the recipe altogether. For example, you can substitute the basil for spinach, broccoli rabe, or arugula for a zesty flavor. Another creative substitution is to make pesto with parsley and almonds or walnuts instead of the classic basil and pesto. Serve with some angel hair pasta and you’ll wonder why it took you so long to try! Also, if you have leftover pesto of any kind, mix with some red-wine vinegar and pour over salad mix for a tasty lunch!

-Chef K

Pasta: Sauces and Shapes



With all the different shapes and sizes of pasta, I am often asked how to choose what pasta to pair with a sauce. So, here's a little cheat sheet to help when cooking up your favorite pasta dishes!

Shaped pastas like orecchiette, farfalle, and fusilli are perfect for most sauces. However textured sauces in particular are best with shaped pastas, for example vegetables or meaty sauces. This is because the shapes are able to stick and hold onto chunkier ingredients. We use orecchiette for our lamb ragu sauce, so that each bite is filled with a little bit of that succulent lamb. YUM!

Tube pastas are best served with thick sauces. This could be anything from a simple marinara, to a bolognese meat sauce. The tubes and ridges hold onto the sauce and get enveloped in all the yummy flavors! A rigatoni would be best with a meat sauce, while a penne is ideal for a creamy pink tomato sauce.

When it comes to the flat and long pasta family, they need lots of olive oil love! You'll notice a lot of the thinner versions such as angel hair, spagetti or linguine will be served in lighter tomato or wine sauces. This is because they need the lubrication from the liquid and oil to stay silky smooth. For thicker versions such as fettuccine, or tagliatelle, these can hold up to cream sauces or ragus. 

Hope this quick cheat sheet helps! 

-Chef K

Storing Herbs in the Kitchen

If there's one thing I use often in Italian cooking, it's herbs! From basil to thyme, rosemary to tarragon, there are so many wonderful herbs to use for cooking. I've noticed that sometimes people shy away from herbs because they can definitely be a little pricier, and of course, can go bad quickly when not used! So, here a few tips! One great way to store herbs is to keep them in a glass jar with some water. Think of them like a new plant! I have found that my basil will last much longer when kept this way. Another great tip I have heard is to wrap them in a damp paper towel and keep it in the fridge. This does work, but definitely not for a long time. This method is best used for immediate use.

My favorite herb tip is actually from our Italian Inspiration board on Pinterest! Freezing your herbs in water or in olive oil is genius! I prefer the olive oil idea though, because that way it's ready to plop into the pot or pan, ready to go!

Sometimes it's the simplest tips that can really make a difference! Be sure to share these tips and try them out at home!