New York’s Best Italian Resaurant


When it comes to great Italian Food, in a city (New York) that is known to have the Best Italian Food in the World outside of Italy, it’s hard to beat Bar Pitti, which is why Bar Pitti may very well be the “Best Italian Restaurant” in New York City! Yes!

Wait a minute, scratch that “maybe.” No, Bar Pitti serves without a doubt, thee “Best Italian Food in New York.” You don’t think so? name one that is better. And please only qualified people please. No followers or Hack Food Critics like
Frank Bruni.
Who could compete? Maybe Babbo, Del Posto, Elio’s, Lupa. They are all good, but none as good and consistent as Bar Pitti.
Il Mulino is absolutely “Aweful!” An “Overpriced Lackluster Restaurant” with horrible ambiance, mechanical annoying service, and food that is merely good, and no better and insanely “High Prices.” It’s a place for “Followers” who run with the crowd and wouldn’t know real good Italian Food if it came up and Bit Them in The Ass.
Babbo many would say. Well Babbo is quite good, but just can’t hold up to Bar Pitti with more of a true Italian feel, great food at truly real Italian Prices. Babbo is a great Special Occasion restaurant, but for everyday eating, Babbo doesn’t even come close to Bar Pitti for “Great Quality Price Ratio,” and even not considering the prices, if they were the same, though the food at Babbo is very good and I’ve had a few very enjoyable meals there, I have been disappointed a couple of times, something that has “Never” happened to me at Bar Pitti and I’ve eaten there more times, yet never been disappointed, not once, and always had a great time. So even if the prices were the same, Bar Pitti still has an edge, with Better More Consistent Authentic Italian Food than Babbo.
How bout Maialino, Laconde Verde, Osteria Morini, and others? As MC Hammer would say, “Can’t Touch This.”
So if you’re looking for Thee “Best Italian Food in New York” there’s one name, “Bar Pitti.”
 
Recommended Dishes:
 
Coda d’Vacinara (Braised Oxtails) 150 Points on a 100 Pt Scale
 
Bolito d’Manzo (Boiled Beef) Taste a whole Lot Better than it sounds!
 
Polpettine d’ Vitello (Veal Meatballs)
 
Fegato al Salvia (Calves Liver sauteed w/Sage)
 
Paparadelle con Sugo d’Coniglio (Pasta with Rabbit Ragu)
 
PUNTARELLE Wild Roman Greens Salad w/Anchovy Dressing
 
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THE FEAST of The 7 FISH ITALIAN CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER

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The FEAST of THE 7 FISH  is AVAILABLE on AMAZON.com

Christmas Eve Fish Dinner is, without question, the most important, the most festive, the most familial, the warmest and most memorable family gathering. For me, Christmas Eve Dinner surpasses every other holiday, As important and delightful as Thanksgiving of Easter or even Fourth of July might be, nothing approaches the ineffable depth and richness of Christmas Eve Fish Dinner offered a table unlike that of any other holiday.

But before I go further, let’s consider the name of this dinner. Among some Italians that I have questioned it is called “Feast of the Seven Fishes,” for other families, including my own, it was simply Christmas Eve Fish Dinner. There was no specific number of fish involved. Carol Field’ Celebrating Italy, a most thorough study of Italian holidays, notes that Christmas Eve dinner calls for fish but makes no mention of the number of fish dishes. Moving my investigation of the Christmas Eve dinner to Google Italy, I found that it is generally called “Il Cenone della Vigilia” (The great dinner of the Eve.) No Italian site I found made mention of the number of fish. I have the sense that the notion of seven fish may be Italian American and even here only among certain families.

The next question I considered was the type of fish. Almost every reference I found and all the people I interviewed had numerous variations. Among most Italians sites two fish appeared most often, baccalà and eel. Among traditional Italian Americans the two most common dishes were baccalà (usually in a cold salad recipe) and fried smelts. In many younger and less traditionally bound Italian Americans all the old time fish were gone. The new fish platters now included shrimp and fried fish and even fish sticks. Italian Americans are not alone in modernization. It seems that even in Italy the younger generations recoil at the notion of such fish as eel.

While what this dinner is rightly called and which fish are those to be presented seems to vary from region to region and family to family a few things about Christmas Eve fish dinner, go unquestioned. Christmas Eve fish dinner was the one dinner no one missed. Christmas Eve fish dinner was at the home of the patriarch or matriarch. Every child and grandchild was present. The power of the Italian American Christmas Eve dinner overwhelmed all other cultural influences. While the fish dinner may have been rooted in Italy it spread its branches to include and embrace not only those non-Italians who had married into the family but all those of other ethnic backgrounds who were friends beyond the family. Everyone with any association to the family was invited to the Christmas Eve fish dinner.

While all other holiday dinners gathered the family while there was still light in the sky, Christmas Eve Fish Dinner began sometime after sunset. It was and is, the only festive dinner in the Italian American tradition that is shared in darkness. All other holidays in the Italian American tradition are celebrated at the table sometime shortly after noon. Christmas Eve Fish Dinner always began sometime after six in the evening.

Christmas Eve Fish Dinner differs from all other dinners by its lack of structure. Other dinners, whether Sunday Gravy or Easter Sunday follow a certain formality. For other dinners there is always a soup course, an antipasto, the pasta, the main course and then the dessert. The Christmas Eve Fish Dinner was quite different. The Christmas Eve Fish Dinner had courses, but the courses were not single dishes. For the Christmas Eve fish dinner each course was composed of several offerings. And the whole dinner was preceded by a cold table of finger foods that allowed mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews to chatter for an hour or so before dinner began. The finger foods were set on small tables in the living room. The platters included olives, slices of celery and broccoli, and a dish of crackers. There were also plates of cooked shrimp with sides of shrimp cocktail sauce. The olives were from cans and the children liked to slide the pit wholes over their fingers as they chomped on the olives. I would guess that the shrimp and the horseradish based cocktail sauce was an influence from the fashionable restaurants of the time.

After at least an hour of nibbling on the side platters the dinner bell called us to the tables. Yes, tables. In our family there were three. In our center hall style house, the dining room table was turned towards the center hall. A second and third table were butted up to the main table. The three tables continued through the center hall into the living room. Seating was determined by age. The oldest sat in the dining room section; the younger the child the closer to the living room.

There was no soup on Christmas Eve. When we sat at the table we first saw a small bowl of whiting salad with lemon and a serving of “scungilli,” conch. When I was small there was a cold baccalà salad with tomato. These cold fish salads were followed by the pasta. Of course, we never heard or used the word “pasta.” For us the “pasta” dish was one of three possibilities. It changed from year to year. It could be either “Clams and Spaghetti,” “Mussels and Spaghetti,” or “Squid and Spaghetti.” The spaghetti were always the very thin “angel hair” (“capellini.”)

The next course is always a serving of several varieties of fried fish. My Irish background mother prepared several fish offerings in different ways. There are three central dishes. First, she made a tray of plain American fish sticks for the children and for those at the table of a less than Italian heritage. Then, as a middle ground, my mother makes the most exquisite crab cakes that would appeal to Italian traditionalists as much as to the non- Italian in-laws. For the old timers there is always the most wonderful finger food, fried smelts with lemon. There are also fried scallops, fried shrimp, fried calamari and fried oysters.

Following the fried dishes, the table is covered with several trays of broiled scallop, shrimp and clams. Then comes the main fish platter. This platter has no Italian precedent that I know of. My mother introduced this dish about thirty years ago: stuffed orange roughy papillote. The orange roughy papillote is made by splitting the fish into two pieces and filling with a layer of spinach with tomato, garlic and olive oil. The fish is wrapped in parchment and baked.

After a rest and an interlude of conversation the Christmas Eve Fish dinner is crowned by the dish everyone waits for, my mother’s tray of Christmas cookies. We began at five in the evening. After the cookies it is after 11. The culmination of the Christmas Eve Fish Dinner is Midnight Mass. Following Christmas Midnight Mass the family came home to a wonderful breakfast of eggs and bacon and, in Philadelphia, of scrapple. The special delight of the breakfast was the Christmas Bread, a wonderful brioche-like pastry shaped in a ring and decorated with multi-colored sprinkles. But Christmas bread is another page.

 

by TONY D MORINELLI

PASTA NIGHT NEW YORK

Saturday Night is PASTA NIGHT for New York City Marathon 2016

 

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SPAGHETTI MEATBALLS For MARATHON SATURDAY

New York’s Biggest Pasta Night of The Year is Here! Tomorrow, Sunday November 3 is Marathon Day in New York 2013 … There was “No New York City Marathon” Last Year a result of Hurricane Sandy .. After much discussion the New York Marathon 2012 was cancelled. A couple “No Good Bastard Brothers” Bombed The Boston Marathon this past April 15, killing 5 and injuring more than 280 .. This years New York Marathon will Salute the victims of The Boston Marathon Bombing and pay tribute to survivors and victims of Hurricane Sandy.

    Enough of the sad News, tonight is Pasta Night in New York. It is a annual tradition for people running th marathon to have a nice Italian Pasta Dinner the night before the Marathon, on Saturday evening in order to “Carb Up” for energy to run the grueling 26 mile race. Yes the Pasta and Maccheroni wil be flowing at Italian Restaurants all over New York this evening. Little Italy on Mulberry Street will be all a-buzz with activiy, “Runners Eating Pasta.” Some of New York’s best Italian Restaurants with great plates of pasta are; Bar Pitti in Greewnich Village, Monte’s Trattoria Greenwich Village for those runners staying at Mid-Town Hotels, Elio’s on the Upper East Side, and Emilio Balato on East Houston Street .. Marathon Runners we “Salute” and wish “Bon Appetito” ! Mangi Bene! Mangia la Pasta!

 

 

LOOKING For GREAT PASTA RECIPES ???

 

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GET SUNDAY SAUCE !!!

 

ITALIAN-AMERICA’S Best PASTA SAUCE recipes

AVAILABLE on AMAZON.com

 

 

 

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RIGATONI “SATURDAY MARATHON PASTA NIGHT”

SUNDAY SAUCE “When Italian-Americans Eat” by Daniel Bellino Zwicke, Set For November 25, 2013 Release, Will Be Available on AMAZON.com  See “La TAVOLA” For Great Italian-American Stories and Favorite Dishes (Recipes)

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GREAT PASTA RECIPES “La TAVOLA”   by Daniel Bellino Zwicke .. On AMAZON.com

https://greenwichvillageitalian.com/2013/11/01/sopranos-at-la-tavola/.

 

 

 

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BEST ITALIAN In GREENWICH VILLAGE? NOT BABBO NOT CARBONE

  NOT

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NOT

 

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IT’S BAR PITTI

Yes, the best Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village is “Not” CARBONE, “Not” Babbo, and certainly not one of New York’s most “Overrated Restaurants of all, the gossly overrated Il Mulino, which is over-priced, good, but no where near to the high exaltation that those who know little of what makes a great Italian Restaurant give to it.

Greenwich Village without question is tops in New York when it comes to having a string of New York’s best of the best Italian Restaurants. There’s Babbo, the Uber Hot “Restaurant of the Moment,” CARBONE. There is Lupa, which for me and quite a number of others The Batali Bastianich’s best restaurant in New York, not Babbo, no Del Posto. Yes, we will get to Greenwich Village’s Best Italian Resataurant in a string of not only the Village, but all New York. The Best is without question Bar Pitti on 6th Avenue near Bleecker Street and smack dab right next to arch enemy # 1 Da Silvano, a restaruant the gave birth to Bar Pitti but a few years ago had a “Nasty Nasty” highly publicized break-up between former 50 /50 Partners Silvano Marchetto the creator and still owner of Da Silvan which for a number of years rained supremme as New York’s # 1 Hottest Celebrity Restaurant of all (I myself was Maitre’d there during 3 of those years). Anyway Bar Pitti for those in-the-know and those who “Know” what they are talking about, and not some Food Critic that knows just a tiny fraction of what many eithers more cable know. Really seriously under quilified people who are put into place as critics by such, supposedly reputable publications as The New York Time and New York Magazine. It’s a sin.

So yes, Bar Pitti is tops. The food is amazing. And most important, it’s consistenly amazing. The food is always the same. Same being is that dishes like Coda d’Vaccinara (Braised Oxtails) Veal Milanese, Paparadell con Sugo di Cinghiale (Wild Boar Ragu) are authenticall and perfectlly cooked and done so each and every time they are done. If you get one of these dishes or any other on the menu or one of the daily specials, it will be the same if you get it today and then 3 weeks or 3 months down the road. The cooks in that kitcehn are conssitent, consistently good, and near flawless. The food is great, the ambaince and decor quite nice and fitting to what a Italian restaurant should be and that people expect, and not over contrived over-done like some joints such as SD 26 or Georgio Armani’s new restaurant Armani Restorante, both over-done, not warm and in the spirit of a truely great Italian Restaurant and one such as Bar Pitti. Yes, wonderful decor, great food, consisitency, good service, and a super great vibe created by the clientele that frequent the spot, many of whome are in publsihing, movies, advertising, and other high profile positions. 

You can talk all you want about Babbo, which is good. I have had had numerous meals there. The experience is quite nice, with a wonderful warm ambiance, excellent servic and an area that they could teach Bar Pitti a thing-or-two. They have a great wine list, although not the best Italian List in the city as those who again don’t realy know have calaimed to it. That honor goes to Barbetta on West 46th Street which is so off-the-wall great, it makes Babbo’s fine wine-list look like childs play. If you don’t beleive me, check it out. The food at Babbo is very good, but I’ve got to tell you “not always.” I’ve had a few disappointing dished there, which were barely good and far from tasty. In the 21 years I’ve been eating at Bar Pitti I’ve never had such a dish that I’ve been disappointed with the way I have a couple times at Babbo, and I never remember being blown away with any dish the way I have been blown away by Bar Pitti’s Bolito di Manzo, Braised Oxtails, Tagiatelle with Black Summer Truffles or Trippa al Parmigiano, all Awesome. Hey, it may sound like I’m knocking Babbo. I’m not. It’s just that when so many think that one place is the best, and it really isn’t and it has more praise than it deserves and has been highly exalted by people like Frank Bruni and The New York Times and other prominent entities that irrisponsibly “miss-lead” the general public that doesn’t know any better. The general public is counting on entities like the New York Times to report factually. By buying a newspaper or magazine the are paying for good information and when publications like The NY Times, Time Out and othe publications put grossly under-qualified people in position as Food Critics when they know very little, and there are hundreds who know a thousand times fold more than a NY Times Food Critic, it’s is just plain wrong.

So, yes Babbo is dam good, though higher exalted then it really deserves, it’s not as far off the mark as one horrible restaurant around the block from it. A restaurant that is so Highly Over-Rated it’s sinful. This restaurant is IL Mulino, a restaurant that has good food, not great that is way over-priced expensive, the decor is dark and horrible, and the service annoyingly mechanical. The place is a Huge Dissapointement to those who actually know what constitutes a great restaurant, and more specifically a great Italian restaurant, one such as Bar Pitti … Basta !

DBZ

 

 

 

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by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

SUNDAY SAUCE

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Sunday Sauce is excerpted from Daniel Bellino-Zwicke’s upcoming book “Sunday Sauce”   Due for Release Novoember 2013 …

When a meal centered around a Sunday Sauce is announced, one can have visions of Blissful Ecstasy at thoughts of eating Pasta laden with Italian Sausages, Savory Meatballs, Beef Braciola, and succulent Pork Ribs. All this has been slowly simmered to culinary perfection. Yes just the thoughts can enrapture one into a Delightful Frenzy of the Most Blissful Feelings of smelling, seeing, and consuming all the ingredients, the Sausages, Meatballs and Gravy. Yes a Sunday Sauce can and does have such effects on one’s mind, body,  and soul. And, I do not want to sound prejudice, but this is pure fact, it is the Male of the Italian-American species who Love The Sunday Sauce in all its form, far more than the  female sex.  True! Meatballs too! And Italian-American men and boys Love and hold  oh-so-dare, their Meatballs, Sunday Sauce, Sausage & Peppers,  and Meatball Parm Sandwiches.

  The  Sunday  Sauce that  my mother  would make was with Meatballs and Beef Braciole. My memories are vivid watching my mother stuffing the Braciole with  garlic, parsley, Pecorino Romano, and Pignoli Nuts,  then  tying the bundles with  butchers cord to hold  the Braciole together as they slowly simmered in the Gravy.  Another fond memory was helping my mother roll and shape the Meatballs.

 

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BEST EGGPLANT PARM In TOWN

BAR PITTI 

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Eggplant Parmigiano, not an easy dish to get right. Good that is. Tasty, prepared properly. Eggplant is a hard thing to work with, not everyone knows how, Giovanni Tognozzi and his boys (Cooks) know how .. They know their stuff those guys who work the kitchen at what I call New York’s Best Italian Restaurant, “Yes Bar Pitti.” Some may disagree, but they probably don’t know what they’re talking about, maybe they do. In that cas, lets just say “They have their opinion, I have mine,” and Bar Pitti is top notch, thee A # 1 Best Italian Restaurant in New York, not an easy task. They prove it over-and-over-again. They proved it to me again today, with the Meleanzane alla Parmigiano, it’s awesome, and as good as it gets. I should know, I’m Sicilian, and we eat more Eggplant than any other region of Italy. They eat a lot in Napoli, but the Sicilians have them beat. Sicilians are the King of Eggplant when it comes to Eggplant Dishes in Italy. The Sicilians have they famed dish Caponata, a sweet and sour eggplant stew that when done right, by a master, it simply devine, as is mine if I must say so myself. I worked on that recipe for more than a year, tweeking it, getting the right balance of eggplant to tomato to onions, to olive oil, celery, sugar and vinegar, topped off with some nice big fat Green Sicilian Olives. Dam, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it, The Caponata, “My caponata,” not many can make it as good as mine, “No Brag, Just Fact.” 

Sicilian Eggpnat Dishes? They grill it and dress it with Olive Oil and Vinegar, season with salt & pepper of course. It’s quite a good antipasto item. The there’s the famed Pasta alla Norma, a pasta dish made with eggplant sauteed with garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes, and topped with grated Ricotta Salata Cheese .. You can use whatever pasta you like, Spaghetti, Bucatini, Cavatelli, Rigatone, whatever .. The best in New York can be found at Degrezia Restaurant on East 5oth Street in Midtown Manhattan. Their Pasta alla Norma which they call Gargenelli alla Siciliana at Degrezia is awesome. DeGrezia is a hidden Gem that not everyone knows about, but those “In-The-Know” have it down as one of the Best In The City, best Italian Restaurants that is. Check it out on Zagat, they got very high marks.

Hey, anyway I got off on the beaten track a minute as I often do. I start out talking about Bar Pitti and their awesome Eggplant Parm, then I’m on to these eggplant dishes of Sicily and wind up talking about Pasat alla Siciliana at DeGrezia. Well, one thing often leads to the other.

Let’s get back to Bar Pitti and their Melanzane Parmigiano and why Bar Pitti is New York’s BEst Italian Restaurant. Well, they prove it over and over again. The food is great, authentic, done right and consistently so. The ambiance is nice, they have nice wines, and pretty good service. And the prices, though not cheap, are fair. Well the Food at Bar Pitti is quite simply, Great. And it’s always great. I’ve eaten at Bar Pitti more than 200 times over the years and every dish I’ve ever had has been excellent or dam close to it. I’ve had the egplant parm there befor, and have always like it. I got it today when I ran into some friends (as I often do) sitting outside. They told me to sit down and have a glass of wine. I did. I was a bit hungry and ordered the Melanzane Parmigiano. Befor it came, my buddy Mike let me have one piece of hsi Coda di Vaccinara (Roman Braised Oxtails), which might very well be my single most favorite dish at the place (love the Trippa) as well. The Oxtails were a special that they serve about 2 – 3 times a week, and they are superb. My friends Michael and Jasmine had already ordered and when he told me he had ordered the Braised Oxtails, my interest was peaked. I thought about getting them but decided against it as I didn’t feel like having so much meat on these day. I’m a Meatatarian (I eat meat, but less, about 3 times a week). Well problem was solved when Michaels Oxtails came, he looked at his dish, and said I could have one piece. Awesome! I ordered the Eggplant Parm, had a piece of Oxtail with a bit of the Soft Polenta and a few pieces of sauteed zucchini which were unsurprisingly perfect. That’s Bar Pitti for you, usually perfect or near to it. Bar Pitti, New York’s Best Eggplant Parm, Coda d’ Vaccinara (Braised Oxtails), and quite simply New York’s number # 1 Italian Restaurant. Basta!

 Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

 

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COOKING In NEW YORK .. ITALIAN

COOKING In NEW YORK .. ITALIAN

SUNDAY SAUCE

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One of the great traditions of the Italian American enclave in the U.S. is the ritual of Sunday afternoon when the entire family gets together for Mama’s or Nona’s famed “Sunday Sauce.” What is it? Well there are a number of variations on the theme. Most Sunday Sauce’s are made with Italian Sausage, Braciola, and Meatballs. Some people make theirs with pork ribs, beef neck, and possibly chicken thighs and backs. These meats are slowly simmered for several hours with tomato, minced onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. I generally like to make my Sunday Sauce with sausage, meatballs, and pork ribs. Other times I’ll make it with Sausage, Ribs, and Braciola. An old tradition in some families is that mother or grandma would start the sauce early on a Sunday morning, get it simmering away for a couple hours on top of the stove, then put it in the oven for a couple hours while everyone goes to church, the sauce slowly simmers and when you get back home, the sauce is ready.

The Sunday Sauce that my mother would make was with sausage, meatballs and beef braciola. My memories are vivid watching my mother stuffing the braciola with garlic, parsley, Pecorino, and pignoli nuts, then sewing up the bundles with a needle and thread so they would hold together while simmering in the gravy (many families all over the New York and around the country simply call Sunday Sauce “Gravy”). Another fond memory was helping my mother roll and shape the meatballs.

As for me, my Sunday Sauce will vary depending on my mood. One thing I love to do when making the sauce is the addition of pork spare ribs, which not to many people use, I love it.

Whenever people eat my sauce, they go nuts for the ribs and some are surprised cause they might never have had them in a sauce before. They didn’t know that you could use pork spareribs. The ribs are traditional with some but not everybody. It is quite a shame for those who don’t add the ribs because they give the sauce some wonderful flavor and they are incredibly delicious to eat after braising in the sauce for a couple of hours. Whenever I make the sauce and I’m dishing it out to friends and family, I always make sure that I have my fare share of the ribs. Pork ribs cooked in this manner, simmering in the sauce are oh so succulent and tasty. They are far beyond compare. “They are Out-of-this-World!!!” The friends, one-by-one, go nuts for them. “Yes they are most than tasty!”

And what to serve with the Sunday Sauce you ask? It should be a short macaroni; rigatoni, ziti, or gnocchi are best.

The rituals of cooking, serving, and eating Sunday Sauce is a time honored one. It is a beautiful thing. If you mention the term Sunday Sauce to any number of millions of Italian-Americans, the wheels start turning in their heads. Thoughts of how tasty it is, all the different components; the meatballs, sausages, braciola, (maybe ribs, beef or pork neck), the pasta, and the gravy itself.

They think about sitting at the table with friends and or family, people they love. They think about the antipasti that will start the meal and about some good Italian Wine, maybe a nice Chianti. They think about the warmth in the air, loved ones, Dino, Sinatra, and of course, the

Sunday Sauce itself. “It’s a beautiful thing!!!” If you’ve never done it, “Try it!” If you haven’t cooked one for some time, plan a get-together soon. “Sunday Sauce, it brings people together,” in a most delightful way.

 

This is an Excerpt from Daniel Bellino-Zwicke’s “La TAVOLA”  Italian-American New Yorker’s Adventures of The Table, which is available in paperback and Kindle on AMAZON.com …

La Tavola is filled with wonderful Stories of Italian-American New Yorkers, many from Greenwich Village and their adventures of the Table and Kitchen, Food, Wine, Family, and Friends. This Book is “A Must Have” for anyone interested in Italian Food, New York Food, and the Italian American Lifestyle …