Originally Published on September 2, 2008 on

As a newly planted seed in New York, I bet you’re wondering how New Yorkers survived before Whole Foods? How could anyone have hosted a fantastic cocktail party like a true gourmand without this superstore?  Well, truth be told, New Yorkers did just fine.  Always the spearhead of everything, we had haute supermarkets when Whole Foods was just a thought in a child’s mind.  Yes, that’s right, New Yorkers of all shapes and sizes had Zabar’s (, which is still a jewel in the crown.  As they themselves say: “New York is Zabar’s…Zabar’s is New York.”

So, what does a person do to put together his or her first official cocktail party as a New Yorker? Well, whatever your decision, you’ll find what you are looking for at Zabar’s.  This is the ultimate Gourmet spot and the place to find the fantastic nosh to go along with liquor.  And what better place to start than with cheese?  Zabar's has an assortment that would make a Frenchman drool.  You can buy cheeses by type: blue, fresh (crème fraiche), soft or firm.  You can also order by country (including France, Italy, UK, or the Netherlands, just to name a few).  Finally, you can order your cheese by the kind of milk, be it cow, goat or sheep.  And if you eat kosher, they have a full assortment of kosher cheeses as well. 

Maybe you want to wow the crowd with some caviar? If so, they have a wide assortment of Russian caviars, along with mini blinis, caviar toasts and even insulated caviar bag.

Are you more of a smoked fish fan? Well Zabar’s offers a wide variety of fish to fit your fancy.  If you’re a whitefish fan who loves its sweet, delicate, and smoky flavor, then why not buy a whole fish?  How about the sweet, buttery flavor of black cod, expertly smoked and lightly dusted with paprika? Their cod, which they call Smoked Sable, is made using a Top Secret Recipe, unique to Zabar's.  Of course, if you’re in the market for what Zabar’s calls their “heart and soul... [Their] pride and joy,” then of course you’ll want to try their hand sliced Nova Salmon.  Each Salmon is selected with care, and then painstakingly cured in a subtle blend of salt and sugar, before being cold-smoked over natural wood. This is a dish that will literally melt in your mouth.

Of course, any great cocktail party is going to need some sweets to make for a memorable occasion.  And, as you would expect, Zabar’s is the place to find those desserts.  What’s your favorite cake?  Is it Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, a Caramel Apple Cheese Cake, and even a reduced fat Chocolate Truffle Cake?  Maybe you are more of a cookie fan?  Well, then you can find assorted Rugelach, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and all natural Brownies.  However you decide, Zabar’s will put the cherry on top of an amazing party.

If you’re so new to the city that you don’t have all the paraphernalia you need for your party, don’t worry.  Zabar’s has a full assortment of kitchen tools, appliances, cutlery, bake ware, and tableware for you.  You find the perfect hors d'oeuvres and the perfect décor.

Zabar’s is located at the corner of 80th and Broadway.  Call (212) 496-1234 for store hours.

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