New service wants to turn 'your dining room at home into a restaurant'

Paula and Tony have experience working at restaurants in Albany.

New service wants to turn 'your dining room at home into a restaurant'

Two Capital Region restaurateurs have joined forces to bring the restaurant experience home.

The Pony Show is a catering/dining in-home service run by Paula Patterson and Tony Angelicola. The Pony Show is available to hire for catering and dining services.

Patterson, formerly the manager of New World Bistro Bar Albany, is now the coordinator for the wine program at Clark House Hospitality Troy. Angelicola worked as head chef at New World Bistro Bar under Ric Orlando and with Ian Brower in Capital City Gastropub.

The couple was inspired by their love for entertaining and feeding guests, and the strain that hosting can cause.

Patterson explained that it's common to have different parties when you host. "The idea that is so burdensome, especially following the pandemic. You haven't been able to see your family in years, and you've not seen your friends for how long, but then you invite them all over." You're stuck in the kitchen for the entire time.

Patterson and Angelicola offer a menu they describe as good, simple food. It includes a starter, a main course with meat, and a dessert. Customers can create a customized menu that includes paired wines and is based on their preferences. When the service is finished, they will clean up and leave. The price depends on the menu choices.

The menu included home-made focaccia, sweet potatoes with tahini and lime zest, broccolini in a garlic lemon Calabrian chili sauce, half chickens in chili oil and black sesame with berry crumble.

Patterson said that the combined experience of hers in front of house, and his in the kitchen is a great asset for the business. Angelicola will run the kitchen, while Patterson is the face of the business, interacting with guests, introducing them to menus and discussing wine.

Patterson said: "I would like to create a more intimate atmosphere of hospitality, as if your home dining room were transformed into a restaurant."

The Pony Show has just hosted its first pop-up at Donna's Italian, Troy. It is now launching a new website to book other events. The majority of dinner parties are scheduled on the weekends because Patterson is still working full-time at Clark House, and Angelicola works as a tattooist.

Patterson explained that the experience was not a private chef deal.