This March marks our 112th anniversary and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate! We have always been a Grand Rapids business, and family-owned. The community relationships we’ve built over the years are the foundation of our business. We owe much of our success to our dedicated patrons and staff! To kick off the celebration, some of our staff is sharing their favorite items carried at G.B. Russo.
I chose the G.B. Russo sausage because I have fond memories of making sausage with my dad ever since I was a little kid, and the flavor is fantastic. I chose the lasagna because I’ve never had anyone else’s lasagna that can possibly compare in flavor. My dad could come up with fantastic recipes!
When it comes to wine, it would be easy to pick very expensive luxury wines that you only have very rarely as a favorite, but my favorite wines are those that give me pleasure on a regular basis because they are affordable enough to drink on a regular basis. One wine that fits that category is the Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ($25.99). It is made with a clone of Sangiovese called Prugnolo Gentile that has a little softer acidity than the clone used in Chianti, so it is great before, during, and after the meal. I love Champagne, especially the small producers as opposed to the big name brands. The smaller producers can do 100% Grand Cru bottlings of Champagne because there is not that much Grand Cru Champagne fruit available to supply the major brands. The best thing is, it does not cost a penny more to go first class with these Grand Cru Champagnes. My favorite “go to” Champagne is the Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Nature Silver ($39.99). It is over $10 less than most major, well-known brand names of Champagne and twice as good.
JR Ewing is a lighter, slightly sweet bourbon that is extremely smooth. It is such a great value for the price in a world of steep price increases on bourbon.
Truffle Salt! I absolutely love truffle salt. It is intensely aromatic and flavorful. A few small sprinkles go a long way, so the jar lasts for quite some time. Truffle salt has a longer shelf-life and is more versatile than truffle oil. Try it on any dish: pasta, chicken, vegetables, eggs, baked or mashed potatoes, risotto, chips and my absolute favorite – popcorn! The flavor is incredible and the possibilities are endless. I also love G.B. Russo & Son Sicilian Sauce – This is my family’s century-old recipe. Its’ family tradition and uniquely delizioso flavor make it my favorite pasta sauce. I also enjoy using it as a pizza sauce or bread dip.
My favorite items are the Cannoli and the G.B. Russo Smoked Brisket. I can still remember the first cannoli that I had – it’s unlike any other dessert in its sharp contrasting flavor and crunchy and creamy texture. Our smoked brisket is set apart both in flavor and style, the perfect blend of smoke and spice.
It’s hard for me to decide what my favorite items are, so I love diving into a G.B. Russo gift basket! Whether it’s pre-made or a customized basket, I’m always excited and delighted to try new items.
My favorites are the Kitchens of India curry paste and Alessi Porcini. Both items I chose because they are quick, easy, and tasty. For a savory and simple meal, mix the Kitchens of India curry paste with chicken, onion, and 1cup of water. You can also master the Alessi Porcini risotto by using 2 ½ cups water and simmering for 18 minutes. They are great together!
My favorites are the Tahitian vanilla gelato and vanilla pizzelle. The gelato as a rich vanilla flavor that goes great with any dessert!
My favorite things at Russo’s are Chicago Italian Style loaf, Pesto Capelleti salad and spinach and cheese roll. Chicago Italian Style loaf is great for making croutons, excellent for dips as well and a nice pairing for soups or appetizers. It’s one of our best sellers, in our bakery. Pesto Capelleti salad is good cold or heated up. The salad is made with our in house pesto sauce. Our sauce is available for purchase. The spinach and cheese roll is great for appetizers or a light lunch. The roll is great for dipping with cucumber sauce. It can be served cold or warmed. Personally, I like it warm.
A favorite Michigan beer is Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. When I moved from Florida to Michigan in the early 1990’s, this was one of the first Michigan beers I tried. After all these years, I still enjoy it today. I also enjoy Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. This is one of the first imported beers that I tried. I still enjoy it today!
OXO measuring beakers make measuring liquids much easier and more accurate. No more holding a measuring spoon over your bowl and adding more than the recipe calls for when the spoon overflows. In addition, with multiple sized beakers, it’s possible to have several ingredients premeasured. TheseNothing For Granite cheese boards are not only made in Michigan but made in Middleville, from stonecutters’ scraps. The spreaders are locally made from furniture makers’ scraps. The boards can be heated in a low oven to serve hot foods, as well as cheese. Stylish and environmentally friendly: can it get any better?
Be sure to stop in the store to say “buongiorno” to our staff and try a few of our recommendations!