I'd seen a couple pro-Citarella (www.citarella.com) posts by trusted Chowhounds and decided to give them a try - and WOW! this place is wonderful...
Their delivery service is first-class! phone ordering was a breeze, nice/personal customer service, delivery very easy to schedule (same day or advance); packaging was excellent, quality white butcher paper and containers, every item was sealed in reusable twist-tied plastic bags, all perishable items were packed together with several (reusable) ice packs strategically placed throughout. the sublime quality of the packaging materials and care with which it was assembled gave me the feeling of opening a bag of goodies after grocery shopping in Paris.
for about $100 ($5 for delivery) - we received a couple enormous bags of delicacies from around the world that will last us weeks -- 3 lbs of their amazing fresh roasted coffee, 3 lbs mixed cheeses, 1 lb mixed charcuterie, a 1 lb double-breast of smoked chicken, 2 lbs mixed olives mixed, a smoked trout, 2 massive loaves of fresh baked rustic bread, 1 lb of "luxury" muesli, 1 lb. fresh ravioli, pint of Bolognese sauce. (they're happy to do 1/2 lbs of olives, meat and cheeses, btw). everything we've tried so far has been great. highlights...
- the smoked chicken breast was heavenly! from Nodines Smokehouse, it's $8 for a double breast that is about a pound of pure white meat (very small breast bone in center) and has the most wonderful texture and flavor - it was amazing simply sliced and served cold, and fabulous in a salad (we still have some left over in freezer to flavor soup later)
- they sell a 4-year aged gouda that is OUT OF THIS WORLD - the color of gold and the texture of a well aged cheddar, but with an amazing nutty sharp flavor, a little like a great pecorino with a nicer eating quality and these spots throughout with a crunchy burst of flavor. I love this cheese and often get at Murray's and EV Cheese - but this is the best I've had (and only $9 a lb)
- Citarella roasts their own coffee - it is excellent. every variety we bought was so full of flavor and just as described - the best coffee we've bought in years. Their fresh baked bread was also exceptionally good.
now plannin' my next order!