Super Bowls and Plates

Super Bowls and Plates

Whatever your reason for watching Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII—you love checking out the multimillion-dollar advertising; you’ve invested big bucks thanks to legalized online sports gambling; you’re a Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce ’shipper; or, you know, you enjoy watching football—you’re going to need sustenance. After all, this is a four-hour-plus marathon, only 18 minutes of which, on average, actually features any football.

If you’re planning a party or just want your game-time menu covered, there are plenty of local caterers and restaurants that can keep you fed. Some will even deliver your food and set up serving tables. If what you hunger for is not on the menu, most are willing to fill a custom order. The only caveat is that you think ahead; most places prefer you make your requests at least 48 hours in advance.

For an elegant affair, check out Chestnut Fine Foods & Confections in East Rock, which will provide services for anywhere between two and 200 guests. Co-owner Patty Walker has found that most Super Bowl orders revolve around “snacking foods” like hors d’oeuvres and sandwiches, but even within those categories your choices are impressively wide. Sandwiches range from Genoa salami, Black Forest ham and roast turkey to paté de campagne on a baguette or vegetarian options like herbed goat cheese with Caesar artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato pesto and romaine (all choices are $11.95 per sandwich). Finger foods include mini quiches in a variety of flavors, mini chicken pot pies, beef empanadas, spanakopita, veggie tortillas, antipasto skewers and bruschetta (vegetable options are $24 per dozen, meat $36). To cap it all off, take your pick of cookies, petit fours and mini bars ($24 per dozen). Menus are available for full sit-down dinners, too.

Hamden’s Bon Appetit specializes in charcuterie boards built any way you wish with at least 24 hours’ notice. Selections can be made from more than 100 cheeses—including Manchego, drunken goat (infused with wine) and an Irish cheddar made with porter—and 25 meat selections from prosciutto to Serrano ham to gourmet pepperoni. Add-ons include nuts, jams, dried fruits, cornichons, sweety drop peppers and olives. Small boards serving two to four start at $45, large boards for 12 to 16 $155. The shop can further augment your board with a table setup of garlands and greenery. You might also want to complement your order with picks from Bon Appetit’s huge selection of largely imported sweets, snacks and baked goods.

With an emphasis on Latin fusion cuisine, Andes International Gourmet Deli in Westville offers a variety of homemade dishes in both small (serving five to 10, starting at $45) and large (serving 10 to 20, starting at $90) trays. Their menu, featuring pulled pork pernil (a famed Puerto Rican dish), meatballs, beef stew and chicken dishes from piccata to scarpariello, can be delivered with at least two days’ notice. Likewise, Sitar downtown offers trays of its signature dishes—tandoori chicken, shrimp kebab, navaratan korma (nine vegetables cooked with spices, nuts and cream sauce)—in small (serves eight to 10, starts at $90), medium (serves 13 to 16, starts at $175) and large (serves 18 to 21, starts at $240) portions.

If you and your party guests’ crave authentic soul food, you probably already know about Sandra’s Next Generation in The Hill, featuring fried chicken, catfish, tilapia, shrimp and pork chops—fried, smothered or BBQ—with a bevy of classic sides: collard greens, black-eyed peas, fried okra, candied yams and baked mac and cheese. Owner Sandra Pittman says she’s also offering empanadas and soul rolls for the big game. Just make sure your guests save room for the sweet potato pie and peach cobbler.

Nica’s Market in East Rock, meanwhile, does a banner Bowl business in chicken wings/tenders and six-foot subs. The market also offers hot food trays (pasta, chicken, beef-veal-pork, fish and veggies), soups and hors d’oeuvres like Italian antipasto, mini hot dogs, fried mozzarella, shrimp cocktails and stuffed mushrooms.

Haven Hot Chicken, now with locations in New Haven, Orange and North Haven, offers a ready-made game plan: a “slider pack” with 12 jumbo Halal chicken tenders (certified growth-hormone and antibiotic free), potato-bread slider buns, a quart of coleslaw, a quart of garlic dill pickles and your choice of a large sauce for $57. Planning a larger party? Take two for $99. Both options provide a noticeable savings over the everyday price of $67.99 per pack.

Pizza fans may be heartened to know that East Rock’s One6Three offers pizza packages starting with five pies and a half-tray of greens for $150. You can opt for classic choices like the Margherita or The Mootz or tailored constructions such as The King, where a base of peanut butter sauce is topped with smoked bacon, caramelized walnuts, mozzarella and a drizzle of cranberry-honey jam. Half and full trays of other snacks and entrees start at $40; the menu recommends that customers order the chicken wings (in counts of 45 and 95) with a mix of the “grandma’s BBQ” and sriracha-and-honey garlic sauces. To give the meal a special kickoff, order a seasonal charcuterie table with meats, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Barbecue lovers may flock to Hamden’s Mikro Depot for its “Superbowl Smokebox Catering Menu,” which offers house-smoked wings (in orders of 25, 50 and 100) with sauces like char siu and “Carolina mustard whiskey old-fashioned,” a nachos kit ($30), stuffed breads ($14 apiece), steak and cheese egg rolls ($16), smoked meats by the pound and half-trays of sides: spinach dip ($30), cornbread ($20) and BBQ pit beans ($25). Your order will be oven-ready at pickup, 11:30 to 4:30 on game day, unless you specifically request a hot pickup.

If you want your game-day feasting to last all day, Elm City Social downtown tells me they’re hosting a special pre-game brunch service from 11 to 3. Never fear, couch jockeys: you can still order party-sized takeouts of wings, nuggets, charcuterie and cheese boards, mac and cheese and an edamame hummus dip with crudité and crackers.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my personal go-to for take-home: La Cucina Prepared Meals & Catering. Outposts in North Branford, Guilford and Cheshire offer a broad array of hot and cold appetizers, pastas, meat, poultry and vegetarian dishes. I’ve found their fare reliably delicious, but they do close at 3 p.m. on Sundays, so don’t leave ordering or pickup to the last minute.

Whatever you choose, even if your team isn’t victorious on Super Bowl Sunday, betting odds are strong you’ll have already won.

Written by Patricia Grandjean. Image features a charcuterie spread by Bon Appetit in Hamden.

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