Saturday, February 21, 2009

Free Eats Day 5: Lunch & Dinner from Dell'anima

This condiment sandwich (midnight snack) paled in comparison to the free eats at Dell'anima's afternoon aperitivo, number two on Blackbook's list of top 1o bars with free snacks. And although I wasn't breaking any Free Eats rules of engagement by purchasing one glass of wine in return for the freebies, it felt odd to be a paying customer for anything after so many days of leaving the wallet behind. Finding free food is much more gratifying than shelling out cash. Dell'anima 8th ave & Jane St.-4:00pm
Free Eats: 3 plates of braised fennel in orange, chili, and mint; marinated olives with bay leaf, black pepper and olive oil; 3 heaping plates of ceci (chickpeas) seasoned with preserved lemon and parsley and a dozen crostini
Normal Price: Dell'anima appetizers range from $5 for one bruschetta to $17 for the Fregula Sarda (gulf prawns, tomato, mint, urchin, jalapeños).
Method: Order one drink to qualify for free eats. I opted for the cheaper of the reds, Sicilian '06 Nero d'Avola at $13. Treated myself to seconds, thirds and loaded up my Ziploc with crostini for dinner. Clinton, 24-year-old bartender, threw me a sturdy take-away Tupperware for the fennel and chickpeas. Score!
Food Groups: Fruit, vegetables, Bread
Free Thoughts: I want the braised fennel recipe. Outstanding! Staff was very friendly, or was that the vino going straight to my head? Aperitivo happens Friday-Sunday from 4pm-6pm. According to Clinton, Friday is the least crowded, i.e., more food to go around. When asked what happens to the food if no one eats it, Clinton responded, "it gets put to use." As an ex-waitress, that's code for, "the staff snacks on it in the kitchen."

Free Eats tips from Dell'anima staff & customers:
Saar (finance guy with an affinity for Magnums and European business trips): not only gives free cooking advice and recipe handouts outside the 10th ave entrance of Chelsea Market, but free samples to too. Friday's special: Mediterranean tuna salad. Check them out from Thurs-Sat.

Clinton (Dell'Anima bartender):
Free olives and other small Spanish samples at Despaña on Broome St (between Centre St & Cleveland Pl). Part gourmet shop, part tapas and sandwich bar, no waiter service. Yelp reviewers confirm the freebies.


hieuho said...

Great find! I've worked around the corner for a year and never went in for some reason. It always seemed a little hoity-toity.

I'll give it a shot this week!

Courtney said...

It's actually quite the contrary...friendly staff across the board, from the hostess, Natalie, to the manager to Clinton, the bartender.

They could use some more business on Fridays, which seems to be their least popular aperitivo day.

Let me know what you think when you go!