Dinner Party Dreamland

Gene's makes an international fête easy as (sausage) pie

The stunning array of sausages–raw, cured, smoked and beyond–is an obvious focal point at Gene's Sausage Shop.

But this new Lincoln Square market is more than a meat emporium. It's also home to an abundance of international goods ripe for dinner-party picking.

Start off a party with glasses of Lithuanian semisweet sparkling wine ($9 per bottle) with a splash of Herbapol Polish chokeberry syrup ($2 for 14 oz.). Raid the deli case for appetizers: pork hock headcheese ($3 per pound), creamy beets with horseradish ($3 per pound), sauerkraut pierogi ($4 per pound) or fresh mozzarella di bufala from Italy ($9 per pound) to serve with rounds of Siljans Swedish Crispbread ($5) or seed breads from local Kazik bakery.

House-smoked sausages, smoked rib belly ($4 per pound) or Polish sausages ($3 per pound) make for quick, meaty entrees. Serve them with Bavarian-style mustard from the floor-to-ceiling mustard shelf on the second floor, Austrian jarred sauerkraut and red cabbage, and homemade German potato salad ($3 per pound).

Seven kinds of Polish beer make for easy dinner pairings; for dessert, douse Palazzolo's gelato with jarred Greengage plums or cherries from Poland, and raise a glass of Austrian Freihof Williams pear brandy ($35). Prost! (Or na zdrowie, if you're feeling Polish.)

Gene's Sausage Shop & Delicatessen, 4750 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-728-7243