All that’s left of the old Rocco’s Restaurant on Thompson Street in Greenwich Village is the old Neon Sign which now has CARBONE plastered over where it used to say ROCCO ..
ROOCO’S was one of the last few remaining Old-School Italian Red Sauce Joints left in downtown Manhattan. It was there on Thompson Street in Greenwich Village for some 70s years until the owners were forced-out by a Skyrocketing Rent Increase that they could not afford. Rocco’s was replaced by CARBONE, a place that charges $56 for Veal Parm when the average price around the city for VP is $27 elsewhere.
Caffe Dante was a Favorite of The late “JIMMY LOLLIPOPS” “VINNY THE CHIN GIGANTE” and other local Mobsters … Dante opened in 1915, and sadly closed its doors on its 100th Year Anniversary in 2015.
LANZA’S Since 1904
The same year my Grandparents Giuseppina & Fillipo Bellino came to New York
from LERCARA FRIDDI SICILY ….
Woody Allen famously used the restaurant to film a scene in his 1993 film, Manhattan Murder Mystery. Characters played by Diane Keaton and Allen himself had dinner at an “Italian mafia joint” in New Jersey, which was actually Lanza’s.
One regular was Carmine “Lilo” Galante, who also frequented neighboring Italian haunts, John’s Restaurant and DeRobertis Pastry Shop . Galante’s family, the Bonanno’s, as well as the Gambino family, loved Lanza’s. In fact, according to the NY Times, after Galante was assassinated in 1979, his funeral service was held at Lanza-Provenzano Funeral Home (owned by the same Lanza family) a few blocks down Second Avenue from Lanza’s, and the restaurant’s maitre d’ and co-owner at the time, Bobby Lanza, was also the mortician in charge of the service.
The Lanza name, however, is most notoriously associated with Joseph “Socks” Lanza, cousin to Lanza’s Restaurant owner Michael Lanza, labor rackateer, head of the Genovese crime family, and controller of the Fulton Fish Market during the 40’s and 50’s (from this alone, he received over $20 million in profits). Although Michael Lanza never reached the crime status of his cousin or was part of organized crime officially, he did a little wheeling and dealing himself. According to the NY Times, in 1976 he, along with two other men, was arrested for bribery, conspiracy, and gambling. The men had paid over $18,000 in bribes to police officers for matters involving illegal activity at the restaurant. No records indicate that the men served time. Although now under new ownership, stepping into Lanza’s and ordering some Chicken Parm still feels like stepping into a vintage piece of East Village history.
ROBERT DeNIRO in LANZA’S Shooting a scen for ANGEL HEART
DeNIRO as LUCIFER
at LANZA’S with EGG
MICKEY ROURKE with ROBERT DeNIRO at LANZA’S
LUCIFER’S EGG SCENE in the Motion Picture ANGEL HEART
Starring MICKEY ROURKE & LISA BONNETT
DeRobertis Pastry Shop
1st Avenue , New York NY
Inside DeROBERTIS PASTRY SHOP
We’ve already established that the mafia in the East Village liked their Cannolis and their veal scallopini. This next bit of history is is consistent with that pattern. Lanza’s Restaurant, located at 168 1st Avenue in a tenement built in 1871, was opened in 1904 by Sicilian-Italian transplant Michael Lanza. It is rumored that in Italy he had been chef to King Victor Emmanuel III. And this regal influence is definitely apparent in the kitschy interior of large painted murals of places like Mount Vesuvius and the stained glass windows. These elements, along with the tin ceiling, are all original or very close to it. Also original to this turn-of-the-century throwback: the customers. According to an interview done by Eater, 90% of the patrons are long time regulars.
Sadly closed in 2015 , after more than 100 Years serving Italians, normal citizens and Gangsters for so many years.
East 12th Street New York , NY
NOTE : JOHN’S is still in Business and Not Part of LOST ITALIAN NEW YORK
CHARLES “LUCKY” LUCIANO
Luciano grew up in the East Village (LES) of New York where he immigrated to with his parents at the age of 9 , from LERCARA FRIDDI SICILY, the same town the SINATRA FAMILY and Best Selling Italian-Cookbook Author DANIEL BELLINO “Z” hail from. And coincidentally Daniel Bellino worked as a Waiter / Bartender for 7 years when he was in his 20s …
Luciano frequented both JOHN’S and LANZA’S Italian Restaurants which have been around since the early 1900s. He also ate at Brunetta’s on 1st Avenue as well as the former La FOCACCERIA on the same block. La FOCACCERIA was a SICILIAN restaurant that sold Sicilian Specialties like (opened til 2010) the beloved sandwich of PALERMO called Pane Milza (Vastedda) along with Panelle, Arancini (Rice Balls) and Sfingione which is the true Sicilian Pizza …
RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA
by Daniel Bellino “Z”
Above : NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE of LUCIANO GENOVESE VALENTI SHOOTING
in Front of JOHN’S Italian Restaurant on East 12th Street
Well Dressed Gunmen:
Vito Genovese and Lucky Luciano
On August 11th 1922 Umberto Valenti was having a plate Chicken Parmigiana. Some time around noon, Valenti and six laughing companions emerged from their lunch at John’s on East 12th Street. Walking eastward when smiles turned into frowns. Suddenly, Valenti spooked and bolted towards Second Avenue as two slick, well-dressed gunmen whipped out revolvers and fired. Gangland legend holds that one of the shooters was none other than Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Masseria’s newest protégé was future Geovese Crime Family Boss Vito Genovese.
The Chain of Evenets Follows :
1.Umberto Valenti emerges from John’s of 12th Street. Lucky Luciano and another assassin open fire. 2. Valenti draws a revolver and is hit in the chest with a bullet. He staggers to a waiting taxicab and dies. 3. The gunmen shoot two innocent bystanders before disappearing into a tenement.
“It was the coolest thing I ever saw. People were shrieking and running in all directions, and this fellow calmly fired shot after shot. He did not move until he had emptied his weapon. With blood spurting from his clothing, Valenti tried to raise up his pistol but his wounds prevented him from doing so. He made for a waiting taxicab, collapsing on the Northwest corner of 12th Street.”
CHICKEN PARM at JOHN’S
UMBERTO’S CLAM HOUSE
Mulberry Street LITTLE ITALY NEW YORK
MOB BOSS “CRAZY JOE GALLO” was Whacked at UMBERTO’S on April 8 , 1972
Gallo had arrived at Umberto’s shortly after 5 a.m. and, according to witnesses, was loud and happy. The party ordered house specialties such as scungilli, calamari and mussels. Wine was brought to the table.
Besides the Gallo party, there were nine other customers in the restaurant, which opened three weeks ago. The gunman entered through a side door and went directly to behind Gallo’s table.
The man, described as about 5-foot-8, stocky, about 40 years old and with receding dark hair, fired twice, striking Gallo in the left shoulder and, as the hood fell over, in the left buttock. Diapioulas drove for cover but was also hit in the buttock.
The killer calmly turned and walked out into Mulberry St. to a waiting car. Diapioulas apparently fired three times at the gunman. Other Gallo hoods ran to the street and began blasting at the car as it sped away.
“GET THE VEAL, it’s the Best in the CITY”
AL PACINO , Sterling Hayden , and AL LITTERI
at LOUIE’S RESTAURANT in The BRONX
The Restaurant used as LOUIE’S RESTAURANT in The GODFATHER
was The Old LUNA’S RESTAURANT on White Plains Road
Italian restaurants have been thriving for so long in New York City, it seems strange to imagine a time when there were none.
That was just before Enrico & Paglieri opened on West 11th Street off Sixth Avenue.
“Countless people’s first Italian table d’hote meal was had here at this proudly immaculate place which, going and growing since 1908, now takes the underparts of three brownstone houses,” states 1948 restaurant guide Knife and Fork in New York.
Learn How to Make SALSA SEGRETO
The RECIPE is in SEGRETO ITALIANO
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