Italian Wine Dinner at Montes Trattoria


Rocca Giovani – Nebbiolo D’Alba 2019

Zeni Amarone “Barriques” 2015

I recently attended an Italian Wine Dinner at the venerable 103 year old
Monte’s Trattoria in Greenwich Village, New York. The wine dinner was organized by Chef Pietro Mosconi, his sone Peter Mosconi (GM), and representatives of Moinsiuere Touton Wines of New York.

The dinner began with reception at the bar of Monte’s, as we sipped Prosecco (Villa Joland) and ate a tasty assortment of Chef Pietro Mosconi’s h’orduevures, which included : fresh Mozzarella wrapped with Prosciutto di Parma, roast Asparugus Parmigiano, Shrimp Oreganata, and tasty little Meatballs. The crowd, sipped their prosecco and nibbled on Chef Pietro’s little treats, and engaged in spirited conversation before heading to the upstairs dining room, to sit down to 4 courses of Chef Mosconi fare. 

Out came the first course of Baked Clams, Fried Calamari, and baked Eggplant. We were served 
Zeni Lugana to go with the antipasti. Lugana is a lovely white wine from Lake Garda, Italy. The wine zone of Lugana actually is in two regions of Italy, which include both the Veneto on the east side of the zone, and Lombardia to the west. This is a bit unusaual, as wine zone are generally in on region, not two. Lugana is one of the exceptions to the rule. Lugana wines are generally mineral driven, with taste of Green Olives, a tad of salt, pears, grapefruti and green apples. 

The Zeni Lugana lived up to general rules of this lovely wine, exhibiting good minerality, with faint saline notes, Peach and Pinapple fruits on the finsish. It was a good choose for the antipasti, going escpecially well with the Shrimp and Clams, and all items of this first course. 

For the next course, we were treated to some of Chef Pietro’s famous homemade pasta, which in this case was Tagliatelle with fresh shaved Black Truffles. Needless to say, the pasta was devine, and all present savored its sublime flavors of the fresh egg pasta, butter and Tartufo Nero (Black Truffles). The Tagliatelle con Tartufo was paired with a wonderful Nebbiolo from the Rocca Giovani Estate, of Monforte d’ Alba in Piemonte, a premier area for Nebbiolo and great Barolo wines. 

The Rocca Giovanni Nebbiolo was a great wine to pair with the Chef’s Truffle Pasta, as any Nebbiolo based wines, such as; Barolo, Barbaresco, or Nebbiolo D’ Alba such as this wine, Nebbiolo with Truffles (Tartufi) is one of the World’s Greatest of all food and wine pairings, and this was no exception. The Rocca Giovanni Nebbiolo was a a textbook Nebbiolo D’Alba, with a good stron g rubby color, smelling of Violets and Rasberries, and a hint of spice on the nose. The fragrance was quite lovely. In the mouth, the wine was full of Dark Cherry and Strawberry flavors, with a tad of Licorice and other faint spices. This was a classicly made Nebbiolo D’Alba, that made a perfect accompaniment to the Truffles and fresh pasta. “So, good. Thanks Chef Pietro.”

After our tasty truffle pasta with Nebbiolo, we relaxed for a few minutes, chatting about the dinner, the food and wines, and whatever other conversation were occuring around the room.

For the main course, their was a choice of either broiled Salmon, or Chef Pietros famous Braised Short Ribs of Beef with polenta. Now I can not figure for the life of me, why would anyone choose Salmon over the chef’s awesome braised Short Ribs, especially when Amarone was to be served with the main course. “OK, I get it. Yes, I realize there are people who don’t eat meat, thus opting for the salmon. Sorry guys, your loss.” As for me, you know I ordered the Short Ribs. 

And so, a little while after finishing our pasta course, out came the main (secondo) and a gorgeous plate of braised Short Ribs of Beef, with sof polenta was set down in front of me. The wine guys had already poured Amarone into my previously empty wine glass, and it was “Let the games begin.” Yes, they had already begun almost two hours ago, but hey, here I was with my Chef Mosconi made Short Ribs and a glass of Amarone.

Well, I already knew how amazingly succulent and tasty Short Ribs of Beef cooked by Chef Pietro Mosconi are. I have had them dozens of times, and they are without question, one of my favorite things to eat in this whole wide World. And I’ve eaten at all of the great restaurants in the World, including in : Paris, Rome, Venice, New York, Florence, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Saigon, Verona, Havana, San Francisco, New Orleans, and? Need I go on. No, It’s quite hard to think of anything tastier than these tasty Braised Short Ribs. Well, Foe Gras at Polidor, maybe? I don’t know? Kind of close, but I’m goign to have to give the Short Ribs a slight edge. 

Now, I’m eating the Short Ribs, and so you know, just how amazingly great they are? As great as anything could possibly be. Now how about the wine werved with them? The Amarone from the House of Zeni, Bardolino, Italy, on the shores of Lake Garda. Thsi wine is Zeni Amarone “Barriques” 2015 … And what an Amrone it is. From the very first sip, this wine blew my mind. It was phenonminal, and one of the best Amarones I have ever had, including the one that I hold as the greatest Amarone I ever drank, which would be the Zenato Amarone Reserva 1981 vintage that I drank in 2005, when that wine was 24 years old, and perfectly cellared in the cellars of Barbetta Ristorante on 46th Street in New York, NY … 

Now that wine was much older, and you have a different experience with an older aged wine, than with a wine much younger. But all I can say, is that the Zeni Amarone 2015 was a wine that is in perfect balance, super tasty, and a absolute pleasure to drink. “I loved it.”

Now if you know me, you will know that if I say things like, “the wine was perfectly balanced, tasty, and that I loved it.” you will know that the wine in question is a wine that is just about a perfect wine, and I don’t need to go into a bunch blibber blabber, in describing the wine. But in addition to saying it was in perfect balance and that I loved it, I will tell you that it was full of wonderful black fruit taste, with hints of exotic spice, and Desert Dates notes. This wine was a gem, and I can’t wit until I drink it again.

After all that, I’m starting to fade. Chef Pietro treated as to a tasty poached pear with Mint Zabiglione Sauce for dessert. This lovely dessert was paired with a Moscato d’ Asti Santo Stefano 2020 from Ceretto. The Moscato was quite nice, with good acidity to balance the sweetness, and tasty peach and appricot flavors that dominated its wonderful flavor profile. And yes, it paired perfectly with the Poached Pear Zabiglione dessert from Chef Pietro. 

So, the dinner was quite wonderful. A great menu from Chef Mosconi, wonderful wines from 
M. Touton Wines of New York, good friends and conversation in one of the great Italian Restaurants of New York, the 103 year old and still going strong, Monte’s Trattoria, headed by Chef Pietro Mosconi and his son Peter. Thanks guys. We loved it.

… Daniel Bellino Zwicke, October 23, 2021


Zeni LUGANA Vigna Alte


Gaetano Zeni, referred to as Nino by everyone, was the real innovator of the modern era of the winery: a number of small and big changes initiated by him lifted the winery to its level of today. It was Nino who decided to move the production in the 1950s from the small winery in the historic centre of Bardolino to its present location,with more space and improved practicality, in the hills above the village with a spectacular view of Lake Garda. In the new winery he also decided to establish the wine museum to promote the culture and the story of wine growing and wine making. The philosophy of the winery, which was implemented by Gaetano Zeni, is pursued today with the same enthusiasm and dedication by his children Fausto, Elena and Federica and includes in particular the meticulous selection of both vineyards and grapes. The separate vinification of the grapes from the different wine areas is today still one of the fundamentals of the winery, giving the wines local character and high quality. The continuous improvement both in the production processes and in the winery’s management enabled the winery to obtain the UNI EN ISO 9001:2000 quality certification.

Ceretto Moscato di Asti “Santo Stefano” 2020



Italian Lemon Ricotta Almond Tart Recipe


Lemon Ricotta Almond Torta


Ingredients :

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (113 grams)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup full-fat ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest from 1 organic lemon
  • 3 eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 3 tablespoons limoncello
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until incorporated. Mix in the ricotta, vanilla and lemon zest.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to beat until very light and creamy. Add in the limoncello, almond flour and baking powder and beat to combine.
  4. In a separate clean chilled bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture. (Don’t worry if white streaks remain – they will disappear once in the oven.)
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan. Smooth the top with a spatula or spoon. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until firm yet slightly springy to the touch.
  6. Allow to cool completely. (It will fall slightly.) Dust with the powdered sugar and serve!


Positano is Here !





Hello folks, boys and girls, Ladies & Gentlemen, “it’s here!” What? POSITANO is Here !!! The AMALFI COAST COOKBOOK / TRAVEL GUide by me, Daniel Bellino Zwicke has been published and is live and for sale on Amazon on this day and on into the future for many years, Positano The AMalfi Coast Cookbook / Travel Guide is live and ready to go to all of you waiting and planning that special trip to Capri, Positano, Ravello or anywhere that your heart desires of the beautiful Amalfi Coast of Southern Italy. “How bout that?” It’s a very happy day for me, I’ve been working on this book for almost two years, and now here it is on February 8th of the year 2021, after the horrible year we had last year (2020), a better and happier year and day and many happy days ahead in 2021 and-on-and-on. You can now get yourself a copy POSITANO , this the first book on Positano & The Amalfi Coast that is a Cookbook, Guide Book, and book of essays and stories on Positano, Capri, and the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. “Yee-haa!”

So, if you’re planning that special Positano / Amalfi Coast vacation, honeymoon, wedding or whatever, and you need a little help planning, and seek some inspiration and ideas for your special vacation, why not start here and grab a copy? The book is filled with information, recipes, and delightful stories that are sure to get those travel juices flowing. Just read the stories and get all pumped up by the future prospects of your dream vacation on the Amalfi Coast, a wedding in Ravello, or Romantic Honeymoon on Capri, or Positano. You will start as you read through the pages of this book and maybe making a plate of Mussels Marinara or Spaghetti Vongole, just two of the many wonderful recipes in this book. This is part of Daniel’s plan and how he envisioned this book to inspire through the stories and cooking some of the wonderful dishes that are favorites in Naples, on Capri, Positano, and all over the Amalfi Coast. Make these dishes to get psyched for your trip, as well as reliving memories of the favorite things you ate in Positano once you are home. This book will help you achieve these things.

Thanks so Much,


“POSITANO it’s HERE” !!!!

How to Make Limoncello




Bottles of Homemade LIMONCELLO



My PAL Vincenzo Manzo at His Lemon Farm VILLA MARIA







  • zest of 6 or 7 large organic lemons
  • 1 litre or quart of pure grain alcohol or vodka
  • 5 cups (1250 ml) water
  • 3 cups (700 gr) sugar

Preparation :

Peel the zest from the lemons with a vegtable peeler and place them into a large glass jar.  Try to avoid the bitter white pith of the lemon skin, under the yellow zest.

Add the alcohol to the jar with the lemon zest.

Cover the glass jar with plastic wrap and store it in a cool place for 7 days

On the sixth day: Boil the water and add the sugar to the boiling water. Stir the sugar until it is fully dissolved in the water. Set the sugar syrup aside to let it cool over night.

On the seventh day: Strain the lemons peels from the alcohol and discard the peels.

Pour the sugar syrup into the glass jar with the alcohol and stir well.

Serve chilled, from the refrigerator or freezer.










Place Lemon Peels in JAR with Grain Alcholo or VODKA



LEMONS   … Agroturismo Villa Maria, Minori

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by Daniel Bellino Z









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When Italian-Americans Cook

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke






SUNDAY SAUCE Is # on AMAZON BEST SELLER LIST ITALIAN COOKBOOKS, Beating out Heavy Hitters like; MARIO BATALIA, Giada DeLaurentis, and Lidia Bastianich .. SUNDAY SAUCE by Daniel Bellino Zwicke is filled with stories and recipes of Italian-America, with Sunday Sauce Italian Gravy as the Centerpiece .. Learn How to Make SUNDAY SAUCE alla CLEMENZA, Momma DiMaggio’s Sunday Gravy, and Spaghetti Meatballs alla SINATRA …


by Italian Cookbook Author Daniel Bellino-Zwicke …
“La Vigilia” The
Feast of The 7 Fish  …. Italian Christmas
      MyAunt Helen used to make the famous Italian Christmas Eve Dinner, “The Feast of
7 Fishes,” The 7 Fish of the Seven Sacraments. I know she made it because I
used to hear her talking about it when I was a little kid. Although I shared many
wonderful meals with my dear Aunt Helen, I never had the pleasure of having the
famous Christmas Eve Dinner “La Vigilia” Feast of Seven Fish with her. We
always had Christmas Eve dinner with the immediate family and Aunt Helen had
the Christmas Eve with her brother and sister and other family members. Aunt
Helen was born in Salerno, Italy and was my Uncle Franks (1 of my Mother’s 3
brothers) better half. So for our Christmas Dinner my mother would make an Antipasto
of Salami, Provolone, Peppers, and Olives, followed by Baked Ziti and a Baked
Ham studded with cloves and Pineapple rings.

The first time I ever had the
mystical dinner was about 12 years ago with my cousin Joe, his family and my
girlfriend Duyen. We had been talking about this famous Italian Feast a few
weeks previous, and were thinking of making it.
Joe told me he wanted  to  have
the  Christmas  Eve
Meal of  The Feast of The 7  Fishes, known in Italy as  La Viglia (The Vigil) or “La Festa Dei Sette
Pesci,” which is also known in Italian-America as The Feast of The 7 Fish, that
signify the 7 Sacraments. Now, how’s all that for a mouthful?

This Dinner, La Viglia originated in Southern Italy, especially in and around
the environs of Napoli. The Feast of The 7 Fish is a Southern Italian tradition
that does not exist in the rest of Italy, it is of the South. La Viglia, or
“The Feast of  the  Seven Fishes” as it is known to Italian-Americans
commemorates the waiting (Vigil) of the Baby Jesus to be Born at Midnight and
the Seven Fish represent the Seven Sacraments of  the Roman Catholic Church. Some also believe
that the Seven Fish might signify the 7 Days of Creation, or The Seven Deadly
Sins, but most believe the 7 Fish pertain to the Seven Sacraments.

So Joe asked me if I wanted to
make this festive and all important dinner, to perform the ceremony. He didn’t
need to ask twice. I had never made it before and was dying to do so. For  a long time I had yearned to partake  in
this celebrated old  Southern  Italian Ritual, and this was my  chance. Naturally I was excited, so was Joe. The
anticipation of the Great Feast to come was of happy expectations and

And what for the menu? I know Aunt Helen made
Bacala, Shrimp Oreganata, Mussels, Baked Clams, Calamari, Octopus, and eel, all
much Loved Southern Italian (especially Napoli and Sicily) Creatures of the
Sea. We decided which fish we wanted
and  how  to
cook each one.  Much thought and
planning went into the menu and its execution.
Joe wanted; Langoustines, Lobster, and Bacala. Alexandra asked if I would
make Stuffed Calamari. We also decided on Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Clams Oreganata,
and Cozze al Posillipo. The menu was set. Duyen helped me with the Calamari
which we stuffed with Shrimp, parsley, breadcrumbs, and Peas. We braised the
Calamari with tomato, White Wine, and herbs. If I must say so myself, the
Calamari came out superbly.  The Stuffed
Calamari were a lot of work to make, but well worth the effort as they were a
huge hit with all. The Macari boys, Joey, Edward, and Tommy, as well as sister
Gabriella, Alex,  Joe,  Duyen,
Jose  and Sergio from Barcelona
were all in attendance.

The Mussels Posillipo were cooked
with garlic, white wine, parsley, and tomato. The sauce is great to dip  your bread
into.  This dish was one of my
mother’s favorites back in the days when few Americans other than  those
of  Italian  origins ever ate these wonderful little bivalves.
Now-a-days every-body does. As a young boy I remember my mother sending me to
Bella Pizza in East Rutherford to get an order of them for her. She always gave
me a few and I have Loved them ever since.

Joe helped me to cook the Langoustines.
They are hard to find and I had to order a ten pound box from Silvano in order to  get them.
The best way to cook langoustines is to split them in half and sauté
them on each side in olive oil with a little butter and garlic. We served the
Langoustines the same way as Silvano does as we feel his recipe is the best and
everybody loves them that way.  The
Langoustines are served with a salad of thinly shaved fennel and celery dressed
in olive oil and lemon with some split cherry tomatoes. Absolutely delicious!!!

The Lobsters we prepared the
best way possible, the New England way, steamed and served simply with drawn butter
and lemon wedges. There’s nothing better on Earth, well except for Sunday Sauce
of course.

Well, that Christmas Eve Dinner
The Feast of Seven Fishes was quite a wonderful experience. It was a huge success
but quite a bit too much work and actually, too much food, everyone was kind of
full already by the fifth fish. The following year we decided on incorporating
the Seven Fish into three courses instead
of seven separate  ones  as it’s just
too much,  too much to
eat and too much to cook, a lot of work,
and who needs to  work that hard
on Christmas.  It was a good decision. We
still had 7 different fish, which is a must. Serving these 7 Fish in three
courses was a good idea as it is much more manageable that way, both to cook
and to eat.

On  this  Feast of
The 7 Fish in “3 Courses” we decided to make the Stuffed Calamari, which
I would not have  chosen again  because it
was  a lot of work, but it was
Alex and Joe’s favorite and they said that it was a must. This was our
Antipasto Course.  Alexandra and her mom
helped me,  so the amount of work was cut
down  and
divided into three, “A good thing.”

The stuffed calamari took care of two of the
seven the shrimp that were stuffed into the squid.

The second course (Primi) of Linguine
Frutti de Mare consumed four of the Seven Fish required for the meal.  It consisted of Mussels, Clams, Lobster, and Scallops
cooked with garlic, oil, herbs, and just a touch of tomato.

The seventh and final fish was
fresh Cod that I roasted and served with a sweet and sour onion sauce (Bacala
Fresca Agro Dolce). Everybody went bananas for it especially cousin Joe who
raved at each and every dish I put down.
It’s a pleasure cooking for Joe as his passion for eating and for the
Italian American way of life, the food,
the wine,  the rituals. Joe truly
Loves  and  savors the experience, so I always love to cook
for him,  Alexandra, their children, or
just about anyone for who savors the experience so well. This goes the same
for  my cousin  Anthony Bellino his wife Debbie and  their
three girls Chrissy, Danna, and
Allison,  along  with all my
close friends and family.
makes cooking a joy rather than a chore. When cooking for family or friends, you
give two of life’s great  gifts,  a tasty
Home-Cooked meal combined with a little bit of Love.  Scratch that. “A whole lotta Love!”

If you don’t want to go so crazy, with 7 Fish as it’s quite an
undertaking, you should try to do an odd numbers; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11.
Three  (3) is a Nice Number and
Represents the Holy Trinity of The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Buon Natale!
 La Vigilai
“The Fest of The 7 Fish” 
                                   by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

Free Recipe From Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

  Pesce en Soar is derived from the famous
Venetian Dish “Sarde en Saor” or Soar Sardines. This dish is served in
restaurants, Trattoria, and Wine Bars (Bacaro) all over Venice, but is
especially popular at the many Venetian Wine Bars, known as Bacaro “The House
of Bacchus” in Venice, where the Sarde en Saor is one of many great little
dishes known as “Cichetti” (Small Bites). This dish is also known as Sarde Agro
Dolce in Sicily, Agro Dolce meaning Sweet & Sour.
   Pesce en Saor (Sour Fish) is a wonderful
dish to pick for your Feast of The 7 Fish. It is especially great at this meal
or any dinner party as it can and should be prepared a day in advance, as the
fish needs to marinate in the sweet and sour onions.
1 ½ pounds Monkfish Filet cut into ¾” medallions
3 mediumOnions, peeled and sliced ¼” thick
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
5 tablespoons Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
4 tablespoons Sugar
5 tablespoons Raisons
Sea Salt & ground Black Pepper to taste
Flour (about 6 tablespoon 2-3 Tablespoons Fresh chopped Parsley or Chives

1) Place onions in a large frying pan with Olive Oil and cook over low heat for 25 minutes.
2) Soak
Raisons in hot water for 20 minutes then drain.
3) Add
sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and raisons to onions and cook 3 minutes. Remove
from heat and let cool.
4) Season
Monkfish with salt & pepper. Dust each piece of fish into flour. Shake off
excess flour.
5) Place
olive oil or vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook fish in pan
about 1 ½ minutes per side over a medium heat until all the fish is cook. Put
on a plate and let cool to room temperature.
6) In a
shallow glass or ceramic Casserole Dish, place
a third of
the onion mixture across the bottom of the casserole. Then place a layer of
half the fish over these onions. Place a third of the onions over the fish,
top with
the remaining fish. Top with remaining onions. Cover tightly and place in the
refrigerator overnight (or at least 2 hours) to serve the next day.
7) To
serve remove the fish at least 45 minutes before serving. Place two pieces of
fish on each person’s plate in a crisscross fashion. Garnish, by sprinkling
Chives or Parsley over top.
NOTE:  You can serve Buffet Style, leaving the Pesce
en Saor in the casserole or other nice serving dish for guest to help
themselves. You can also place a piece of toasted bread on plate or nice slice
of ripe tomato, or Cucumber, then top with Fish and Onions.
.. You can use practically any fish you like for this preparation. Good
alternate choices of fish would be; Sardines, Swordfish, Shrimp, Sea Scallops,
or any fish that you might catch yourself. And remember, this dish is not just
for The Feast of The 7 Fish but any day of the year. An optional garnish that
is very nice for this dish is toasted Pignoli Nuts sprinkle over the top.
                               Daniel Bellino’s Recipe For STUFFED CALAMARI Is IN
                                                 THE FEAST of THE 7 FISH
                                                      ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
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 The Feast of The 7 FISH is Available in Paperback & Kindle on
  1. The Seven Virtues – faith, hope, charity, temperance, prudence, fortitude, and justice
  2. The Seven Deadly Sins – lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride
  3. The Seven Sacraments – baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance or reconciliation, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and marriage
  4. Seven days it took God to create the world
  5. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel (right judgment), fortitude (courage), knowledge, piety (reverence), fear of the Lord (wonder and awe)
  6. The number of days it took Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem
  7. Miracle of the Five Loaves and Two Fish – Jesus fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish
  8. Miracle of the Seven Loaves and Fish – Jesus fed 4,000 people with only seven loaves and fish
  9. Biblical perfection – biblical number for divinity is three and the most perfect earthly number is four, so combining them represents perfection, God on Earth, or Jesus Christ
  10. 10. The Seven Hills of Rome 

Learn How to Make SUNDAY SAUCE “Italian Gravy”

Richard Castellano & Al Pacino
Francis Ford Coppola ‘s THE GODFATHER
 Watch Author Daniel Bellino Making SUNDAY SAUCE



THE Ingredients For THE “GRAVY

And During DINNER

You will always “MANGIA BENE” !!!




West 56th Street
Frank Sinatra & Ava Gardner
East Harlem, New York
New York’s Toughest Table
Cause “Frankie No” Says “NO” !!!!
Bleecker Street
Greenwich Village
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Manhattan’s Best Pork Store
Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
DiFara Pizza
Avenue J , Brooklyn, NY
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Mr. Dom DeMarco
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
The # 1 Best Italian Trattoria
Greenwich Village
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

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by New York Italian Cookbook Author

Daniel Bellino “Z”



Formely Rocco’s Restorante
For More Than 70 Years
In Greewnich Village
Now New York’s Hottest New Restaurant
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Recipes & Stories In SUNDAY SAUCE
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Fillipo, Lucia, Tony, Josephina
Missing from this picture : Brother James and Frank and Sisiter Lilly
Philipo & Josephina Bellino Were Both Born
In “Lecarra Freddi” SICILY
The Same Town as The SINATRA FAMILY
Read About Meatball Parm Mondays
Daniel Bellino-Zwicke ‘s
“When Italian-Americans Cook”
In Memeory of GINO’S

EVER !!!!
CLEMENZA (Richard Castellano)
Prince Street
Soho, New York
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Chianti, Barolo, Brunello
Newport Steaks
Greewnich Village
New York
Greenwich Village New York
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Daniel Bellino’s House
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Creators of The NEWPORT STEAK
Newport Steaks
From Florence Prime Meat Market
Greenwich Village
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Click Above !!!
Italian Cookbook Author
Greenwich Village Native
Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Making SAUCE 
In Greenwich Village
Sirio Maccioni
Founder of Le Cirrque
New York
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Dom DeMarco DiFarra Pizza


“Yes!!!” Eating Pizza Made by The Maestro DOM DeMARCO

Is a Religious Experience !!!


Much has been said of the now famed Pizzeria (DiFarra Pizza) on Avenue J in Brooklyn, New York the Capital of Thee Best Pizza in the whole United States of America, bar-none, even Manhattan. Brooklyn lays claim to the Top two Pizzerias in the country, the top of the list 1 and 2, number 1, The Best and number 2, the second best. Well no, I don’t know if I should put it that way, as it sound s as one is better than the other, which is not ht e case, as they are both equally good, equally Great and equally the Best Pizza and the Best Pizzerias in the United States, though they are are little different than one another. The Pizza at both Totonno’s on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York and Di Farra Pizza on Avenue J in Brooklyn are both otherworldly specimens of some the Finest Pizza on other and the Undisputed Best Pizza in America.

Wow, got off on a tangent about both Di Farra and Totonno’s when I just intended to talk about Di Farra Pizza, Dom DeMarco the Maestro of Di Farra’s and the Religious experience that it is to go there, watch Dominic masterfully make Pizza after glorious Pizza (without the help of anyone else), to watch in awe and anticipation and Salivation til you finally get yours (after about a hour or hour and a half wait), you hold it in your hand like a precious baby, and then to sink your teeth into it, savoring each wondrous bite after the other. “Yes,” it is truly a religious experience, that is, if you are a great lover of this wonderful invention, created in Napoli, spread throughout the the Italian Peninsular and then across the Atlantic to America from Italian Immigrants where Gennaro Lombardi opened the First Pizzeria in America on Prince Street in New York City some 100 years ago or so.

Back to Di Farra and Pizzaiolo Extraordinaire, Mr. Dominic DeMarco. It is Dominic that makes Di Farra what it is, it certainly isn’t the Pizzeria itself which is ultra plain and even appalling to some. Mr. DeMarco’s pizzas are just about as close to absolute perfection in the Pizza Making World, a world in which New York City excels and has only one rival in Naples, Italy and the whole of Italy itself. Mr. De Marco has the magic touch, with perfect dough, the perfect balance of ingredients, tomato and other ingredient ratio to cheese, and this include Mr. Demarcos judicious use of Olive Oil which is right-on and a little magic touch that whoever complains about it, just does not know there Pizza and Italian Food on a whole. We Italians love our olive oil. And those who complain are unaware that it is a condiment that adds the final last touch to many dishes before they are eaten. Dominic knows this and should not be discourage against his generous use of it by those who do not understand the proper essence of the Italian Table. So please, keep your traps shut, if you don’t like it don’t eat it, this countries finest examples of the Pizza Art.

And on to the religious experience of Di Farra, Dom DeMarco and the mans artistry with Pizza. There is nothing quite like it in the entire Pizza World. There does not exist, to my knowledge any place in the world that has an elderly man making a hundred plus Pizzas a day in a place that has endless lines, day and night. Pizza that are so perfect, words can not describe People line up for greatness and artistry, and for a couple of slices of the most marvelous pizza this side of Naples, and to watch this passionate little old man work his heart out, not getting, not allowing anyone else to make a pie at his beloved Pizzeria. The man is elderly. He’s worked his whole life. He makes such a magical thing that people line up each and every day to see him and eat one of his many masterpieces. With business like this, he could hire to other Pizzaiolos to help him, doubling or tripling his business and and financial intake. He could hire two guys and make pizza aloing with them, or sit back and get three guys to do it. At his age, he’s entitled to. But know, Dom DeMarco loves what he does, he loves his Pizza, each and every one that passes that counter and into thousands of appreciative hands. The man feels that no one else can make a Pizza the way he does; and wants; he grinds

chunks of Peceriono Romano in an old hand cranked meat grinder and sprinkles on each pie just before serving, along with cutting fresh Basil onto the Pizza at the last moment after Dom’s prerequisite drizzling of the Olive Oil giving two different taste and contrast on the same pie, one baked on (Cheese) and one applied at the last moment, devoid of the hot oven heat. Dom guilds the Lilly, so to speak. This is truth, not just a figure of speech.

Yes Dom makes each and every Pizza that goes out or is consume on the spot, at DiFarra’s. No one else has his skills, his passion and love for the Pizza, thus he does it all himself. And this my friends is the reason that going to Di Farra’s to watch Dominic the maestro in action, all by himself while hundreds of people line up every day, waiting an hour and a half to two hours just to get a Pizza (not just any old Pizza mind you). “It’s a Religious Experience.” Truly! A show and there is nothing like it in the World, Dom DeMarco, a man and his Pizza, America’s Best, and something to rival that other World Pizza Capital, Napoli.


by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

SUNDAY SAUCE "When Italian-Americans Cook" by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke, is Available on  .. CLICK LINK BELOW  ..

SUNDAY SAUCE “When Italian-Americans Cook” by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke, is Available on .. CLICK LINK BELOW ..

Brunello Tasting New York



Yes there was a Triple Header of Brunello the other day. Well two days and for me any way. The Main Event of Benvenuto Brunello, or as we New York Italian Wine People call it, simply “The Brunello Tasting” which is held every year in New York and a few other chosen cities around the globe. The tasting is for the release of the latest and current vintage of one of Italy’s and the World’s Great Wines, Brunello di Montalcino … Wines made of 100% Snagiovese Grosso aka Brunello. Wine made only in Montalcino (nowhere else in the World). Wine made in the highest standards of wine-making and according to the standards and specifications of The Consorzio Del Vino Brunello Di Montalcino and the Italian Goverment.  Brunello must be aged for 2 years in oak barels and 2 years in bottle before being released 4 years after the vintage and 5 years for Brunello deemed Riserva. Thus at this Brunello Tasting in 2013, The Brunello Consorzio and its producers of which 52 of more than 200 were represented on January 31, 2013 at New York’s Gotham Hall (A Regal Setting). So at the 2013 Brunello Tasting we are tasting the 2008 Vintage Brunello, along with the 2007 Brunello Riserva, along with Rosso di Montalcino 2010, Moscadello, and other proprietary wines (Super Tuscans). 

So The Brunello Triple Header, you ask? This is my phrase for my two days of events during Benvenuto Brunello 2013 .. Game 1 of the triple-header is Benevenuto Brunello (The Brunello Tasting) itself and as a whole, a wonderful thing in itself and much anticipated by any and all Italian Wine Geeks as myself. Well I normally don’t use that term for myself, in fact I never have. This is the first time, only done to make a point in just a couple words “Wine Geek.” 



 OK, that’s that. Game 2 of The Brunello Triple Header is the Brunello Seminar-Tasting conducted by Kevin Zraly. It was a marvelous and memorable event for all of the lucky few able to wrangle a seat. Yes, it was! Marvelous!

Brunello Triple-Header Game 3 ? Not for the 100 or so few seats at Kevin Zralys Brunello Seminar, nor the, I guess 2 to 3 thousand people who attended the larger Brunello Tasting, Benvenuto Brunello. Game 3 was a private Tasting of the wonderful Brunello of The Count Francesco Maroni Cinzano from his World Renowned Estate “Col D’Orcia” in Montalcino. We tasted through 8 of the Counts fine wines, which include; Rosso di Montalcino 2010, Brunello Col D’Orcia 2008, the current vintage and featured wine of Benvenuto Brunello. The Count then tasted me on the fine Col D’Orcia Brunello 2001, and then his Brunello Poggio Vento 2004. Stop! Wow! Do you know what Wow means, in wine-speak? Well it means Wow, “This is Phenomenal! It doesn’t get better than this.” I was bold over by this wine, the Poggio Vento Brunello Riserva 2004. The Count told me that the wine was just released. OK, now, at this point in time, January 2013 Montalcino is releasing the 2008 Brunello and 2007 Riservas. Poggio Vento is a Brunello Riserva that is not released after the 5 years require, but 3 years later, for a total of 8 years aging before the wine is released from The Col D’Orcia Estate and ready for sale. And let me tell you, this wine is something special. A Perfect Brunello that any other Brunello could aspire to. Naturally this wine was started in the vineyard with meticulous care of the vines of which produced perfect Brunello Grapes (Sangiovese Grosso). I know this, as this wine could not be as great as it is without perfect fruit. Or if not perfect, for those who might think there is “no perfect,” then as close to perfection that is at all possible. It was acheived in the grapes that went into Count Cinzano’s Brunello Riserva Poggio Vento 2004, “Beleive me.” Then with the wonderful fruit, the grapes had to crushed and fermented to, “if not perfection, then darn close to it.” The, near perfect aging in various oak barrels, and then the selection of which of the many barrels in the Col D’Orcia Cellars would be used to make this, The Count Cinzano’s “Premier Wine”               Brunello Poggio al Vento Riserva. The wine, the Poggio al Vento Brunello Riserva 2004 turned out, “I’ll say it, perfectly.” I just can’t think how a Brunello could taste better or more wonderful, and I thank The Count for tasting me on it personally. That’s quite an Honor my friends, and one I never take lightly whether I’m tasting with the Count Cinzano, Marchese Piero Antinori, Vittorio Fiore or anyone. If they make wine, and great wine, to me, they are almost God-Like. Don’t get me wrong, this is just a metaphor. Let me put it this way. A few years back, when I was The Wine Director of the at the time very hot Bar Stuzzichini, the Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi was in town and came to pay me a visit and taste me on his latest vintages of his Frescbaldi Nippozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva, his “Montesodi” Chianti Rufina Riserva and few other wines. I love the Marchese Ferdinando. He’s a really wonderful person, quite affable, down to earth (though he is of Great Florentine Nobility), an all around great guy. So the Marchese was pouring us his wine, he spotted the bartender and asked him if he wanted to taste some wine. The young bartender did. We had a great visit and Ferdinando Frescobaldi left us, off to see some friends. After he left, I tried to explain and put into perspective to the young bartender, exactly who had just poured him the wine. I told him, “that’s Mickey Mantle.” What? Well, I never heard anyone make the analogy or statement as I did that day. For me it was natural and sincere and it just came out of me. For that’s sort of what The Marchese Ferdindando Frescobaldi and a few others is like to me. Most Americans over 40 will know who Mickey Mantle was, and they would have loved him and held him in high regard as one of the Greatest to Ever Play The Game of Baseball, a thing very important and dear to Americans. Much more so than wine is to Italian, believe it or not. Growing up, I loved Mickey Mantle, held him in the highest regard and still do. I was fortunate enough to meet and chat with Mickey a few times and have a couple autographed baseballs from Mickey to prove it. So i told the kid, that man is to Italian Wine what Mickey Mantle is to baseball; a legend, The Greatest of The Great, loved and held in high regard by many, and one of the most important and influential men in his field. Well I didn’t say all that to the kid, I just said he was “The Mickey Mantle of Italian Wine.” Well I don’t think the kid got my point or really cared, but by saying this, anyone who knows a bit about wine will know what I’m talking about and how I feel about some of the Great Men of Italian Wine (Women too).

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

“Game 2 of My Brunello Triple-Header”

KEVIN ZRALY TALKS BRUNELLO    “Brunello Seminar-Tasting Gotham Hall”

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The affable Kevin Zraly held a Brunello Seminar at The New York Brunello Tasting 2013 …And for the few lucky enough to attend, it was quite a great event. Great, yes great, and Mr. Keven Zraly in my book is quite great when it comes to knowledge of wine, his Love and approach to it, drinking, tasting for his own pleasure and knowledge as well as the Drinking, Tasting, and Education Kevin imparts on those in his classes, readers and owners of his famed Windows On The World Wine Course (Book), and anyone as I’ve Just said “Lucky Enough to Attend One of Mr. Zraly’s Wine Seminars,” in this case for one of Italy’s and The World’s most esteemed wines and one of Kevin’s 3 Favorite Wines (Kevin’s words) Brunello di Montalcino.


 “Don’t Touch It! Don’t touch it !!!” shouts Kevin Zraly, near the beginning of his seminar. He know there are always people on every level of experience at any one of the many wine seminars he has conducted over the years, including the most experienced and at least one or maybe several people who have never ever been to a Seminar Wine Tasting like this in their lives. This maybe their first one, “Don’t Touch Don’t touch!!!” It’s quite funny and a bit shocking the way Kevin does these as he sets the tone for his style of wine seminar, which is “No Muss No Fuss No BS,” and as Mr. Zraly says no English Poetry, in an effort to say there will be none of that overdone pontification, just straight normal talk, and talk even a beginner could grasp about wine, and with Kevin his approach will make you love the object and the subject of “Wine” even more. That’s what a great wine educator does. There are not many better than Kevin Zraly, “if any?”

   Yes, the seminar was quite wonderful. If being at the most important Brunello Tasting of the year wasn’t enough, and being the first in the World to taste the 2008 Vintage and 07 Riservas, in a beautiful setting like Gotham Hall, in The Greatest City in The World, and as the Head of The Brunello Consorzio stated this glorious day, “New York Is The Greatest and Most Important Market in The World For The Producers of Brunello di Montalcino.” Yes Sir “It Is.” Yes those at The New York Brunello Tasting were among-st the first in the World to taste these fine wines, and Mr.s Zraly made that point, as well as stating how wonderful the Wines were, that we were very fortunate to be drinking them, and that Brunello was along with Bordeaux, one of his 3 Favorite wines in the World to drink. Myself and Michael Colameco (Who is The fine host of “Real Food” one of TV’s Best Cooking Shows on PBS) sitting next to me at the seminar, we both surmised the third  of Kevin’s 3 Favorite Wines of The World had to be Burgundy. This we need to find out.

    “Smell it 3 times. Cover the glass with your hand. Sniff! Toast the person sitting next to you and drink. Think about it for 1 minute at 15 second intervals. Do you still taste it? What do you taste?” Well, we tasted 8 very fine offerings of this fabulous wine, Brunello di Montalcino. The wines were all wonderful, and being at Benvenuto Brunello in such a gorgeous setting as Gotham Hall and being led in a Tasting of Great Brunello by one of the World’s Greatest Authorities on Wine, this was a combination that was unbeatable. Being in the Italian Wine and Restaurant Business for more than 25 and writing for another 8, I can tell your that I’ve been to many a incredible wine event, like: a Vertical Wine tasting and Luncheon with the Marchese Piero Antinori, Dinner at Spark’s Steak-House with Jacopo Biondi Santi and his wines, as well as lunches and dinners on many great wine estates in Italy. The kind of events people would kill to be able to attend, I’ve been to many, and this Brunello Seminar tasting with kevin Zraly shall be filed in my head with some of those other great wine moments. It was most enjoyable, and I’m so glad I made it (almost din’t go).

   So Bravo Brunello! And Bravo Kevin for your passion, love of the wine, and the way you lead others, in your very Zraly Direction.

Daniel Bellino Zwicke

BRUNELLO SEMINAR with KEVEN ZRALY .. January 31, 2013 …. Afternoon Seminar


1.   Palazzo – 2008

2.   Fanti -2008

3.   Tenute Sivio Nardi – 2008

4.   Donatella Cinelli Colombini – 2008

5.   Uccelliera – 2008

6.   Palazzo – Riserva 2004

7.   Col D’Orcia 2001

8.   IL Poggione Riserva 1999

An overall assessment and thoughts on the 8 Brunello’s we tasted. First off, they were all very good to wonderful to remarkable. A great line-up including some excellent producers and very fine vintages of recent years. It seemed an overall consensus that pretty much everyone (Writers, Restaurant People, Wine Professionals,and Hobbyists) in the room liked each and every wine we drank, all wonderful wines, and with Kevin “Cheer-Leading” us with his love of wine and Brunello, I believe everyone enjoyed these wines even more than if they had tasted all 8 in another manner than this great tasting-seminar.

   As all wines were wonderful, I must admit that there were 3 wines that we all got a bit more excited and super-charged over. These wines were; the Brunello Uccelliera 2008, the Brunello Col D’Orcia 2001, and the Brunello IL Poggione 1999 … Without going into any, as Kevin Zraly would say “English Poetry” these 3 wines were just wonderful. The kind of wines you light up over and just saying “Wow,” is enough to say that they had everything you want in a great Brunello or any great wine, great aroma, Wonderful Taste combined with “Perfect Balance,” and simply greatness.

   Again, a great tasting, overall Benvenuto Brunello, lots of great wines, wonderful people, and a fine Seminar-Tasting of Brunello conducted by Mr. Kevin Zraly. Again, Bravo!

Daniel Bellino Zwicke

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Daniel Bellino-Zwicke Tastes The Great Wines of Col D’Orcia, multi vintages of Col D’Orcia Brunello Di Montalcino with the Estates Esteemed proprietor, The Count Franceso Muroni Cinzano at a Private Luncheon in New York ….

The Beautiful Abbey of SANT ANTIMO, Montalcino with Brunello Vines in foreground …

Brunello Col D’OrciaRiserva “Pogio Al Vento” 2004

Article Daniel Bellino Zwicke


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Daniel Bellino Zwicke