Lost Italian New York

 

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VESUVIO BAKERY

Prince Street

 

The Historic old facade still remains (Thank God), but the almost 100 year old Italian Bakers closed shop a few years ago. You can see the famous old storefront of the former Vesuvio Bread Bakers in what is now known as Soho, except if your an old-school Italian-American of Greenwich Village, this small area is still considered The Village by old-timers, myself included.

 

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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.

 

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CAFFE DANTE

Caffe Dante is no more. Well, there is still a place there called Dante, but it definitely is not the same. What was once, New York’s most authentic Italian Caffe for exactly 100 years from 1915 to the year 2015 when the then current owner Mario Flotta who hails from Avellino, Italy and who owned Caffe Dante for the last 44 years of its life, due to high-rent against insufficient revenue was forced to close and sell Caffe Dante and its name to a new owner. 

It was a sad day for me when Caffe Dante closed in 2015, as I went to this wonderful old Italian Caffe almost everyday for exactly 30 years. I first started to frequent Caffe Dante after returning from my first trip to Italy in the Summer of 1985. I had many good times at Caffe Dante over the years and I miss going there quite a bit. Caffe Dante is now an upscale Bar / Restaurant serving instead of the Best Espresso in town, they now serve expensive – overpriced cocktails. I guess you can’t stop progress? Cei la Vie …

 

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GINO’S

 

My Favorite New York Italian Restaurant Ever. This sentiment is held by a couple thousand other loyal regulars who ate at Gino’s for many years. Gino’s was one of the coolest restaurants you can ever wish to be a regular at. They served solid wonderful Italian Food & Wine at very fare prices. They had the famous Zebra Wallpaper and their famed sauce Salsa Segreto on the menu along with all the favorite Italian dishes that New Yorkers love to eat. Gino’s cultivated a wonderful crowd of regular clients who frequented the restaurant on a frequent basis, and these customers helped make the restaurant sing and give it life. My cousin and I went there often to always get a couple antipasti items to share, followed by a half portion each of Pasta Segreto, followed by a Veal Milanese that we’d split, and then we’d get two tasty desserts. We loved Gino’s and had a lot of fun there.

Sadly, as often happens Gino’s rent was raised, and this along with high wages fro Union Employees lead to the demise of one of New York ‘s most wonderful Italian Restaurant of all-time. So very sad, another bit the dust.

 

 

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LANZA’S Since 1904

 

The same year my Grandparents Giuseppina & Fillipo Bellino came to New York from LERCAR FRIDDI SICILY ….

 

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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.

 

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ROBERT DeNIRO in LANZA’S Shooting a scen for ANGEL HEART

 

 

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DeNIRO as LUCIFER

at LANZA’S with EGG

 

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MICKEY ROURKE with ROBERT DeNIRO at LANZA’S

LUCIFER’S EGG SCENE in the Motion Picture ANGEL HEART

Starring MICKEY ROURKE & LISA BONNETT

 

 

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Joseph Socks

 

 

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Michael Lanza

 

 

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JOHN’S

East 12th Street New York , NY

NOTE : JOHN’S is still in Business and Not Part of LOST ITALIAN NEW YORK

 

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MOB BOSS

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 … 

 

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RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA

by Daniel Bellino “Z”

 

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Above : NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE of LUCIANO GENOVESE VALENTI SHOOTING

in Front of JOHN’S Italian Restaurant on East 12th Street

 

 

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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.”

 

Click Here o READ The NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE from 1922

 

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CHICKEN PARM at JOHN’S

RECIPE in SUNDAY SAUCE

 

 

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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.

 

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GALLO

 

 

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“GET THE VEAL, it’s the Best in the CITY”

AL PACINO , Sterling Hayden , and AL LITTERI

at LOUIE’S RESTAURANT in The BRONX

 

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The Restaurant used as LOUIE’S RESTAURANT in The GODFATHER

was The Old LUNA’S RESTAURANT on White Plains Road

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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Learn How to Make SALSA SEGRETO

The RECIPE is in SEGRETO ITALIANO

 

 

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SUNDAY SAUCE

WHEN ITALIAN-AMERICANS COOK

 

 

 

 

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Back to Italy Naples Sicily Amalfi Coast

First Stop NAPOLI
 
 
and
 
PIZZA !!!
 
 
 
 
la PIZZA
 
e PIZZAIOLO
 
 
 
la BELLA NAPOLI
 
Old Postcard of Naples
 
 
 
AMALFI COAST
 
RAVELLO
 
View From The Top
 
 
 
 
POSITANO
 
 
 
 
MINORI
 
The Amalfi Coast
 
aka
 
Costa di Amalfitana
 
 
 
 
 
VILLA MARIA
Lemon Grove Farm Agroturismo
in
Minori
 
 
This is Where I’ll Be Staying for Three Glorious Days
(Maybe More)
On The AMALFI COAST
 
One of The Most Beautiful Spots on Earth “Bar None”
 
This is The View From AGROTURISMO VILLA MARIA
in
MINORI, ITALY
 
This is One of The Many Gorgeous Views From The Property
 
Looking Down Onto the Lovely Town of Minori and Out On To The Sea
 
The Tyrrhenian Sea
 
 
 
This is My Back Porch Terrace of My Room
 
at
 
VILLA MARIA
 
 
 
Lemon Trees at Villa Maria
 
 
 
On to SICILY
 
 
 
 
Taormina
 
 
 
 
The GREEK THEATER
 
at TAORMINA
 
with
 
Mt ETNA
 
 
 
Piazza del Duomo
 
TAORMINA SICILY
 
 
on to PALERMO
 
 
A View of PALERMO
 
 
 
Mondello
 
 
Mondello is a Lovely Beach on The Outskirts of Palermo
 
 
 
Then on To My Friends at Villa TASCA
 
Villa Tasca
 
 
 
VINEYARDS at VILLA TASCA
 
 
 
 
Me & Conti Ciuseppe Tasca
 
with a Bottle of Giuseppe’s Famed Rosso del Conti
 
 
 
On to My Grandparents Home Town
 
 
 
My Maternal Grandparents
 
PHILIPO & JOSEPHINA BELLINO
 
with My Mother LUCIA
&
UNCLE TONY
 
Lodi, New Jersey
 
about 1940
 
 
I Will Go to The City Hall in Lercara Friddi and get any pertinent records
of my Grandparenst Philipo & Josephine. I will also go to the church they were
baptized in as well as being married there ..
 
Note : Our family Name was Bellina, spelled with an “a” not an “o” but like
many immigrants passing through Ellis Island back at the turn of the Century (1900), the
correct spelling of my Grandparents was changed slightly from Bellina to Bellino. Since that was the spelling of their name on the very important document of them passing through Ellis Island, New York in 1904, it was the spelling they stuck with and used.
 
 
 
The Chairman of The Board
 
Francis Alber Sinatra
 
aka FRANK
aka
 
FRANK SINATRA
 
Ancestry of Lercara Friddi, (Sicilia) Italy
 
 

My Grandparents who came from Lercara Friddi, the same town as Frank Sinatra and

Lucky Luciano, immigrated to America and settled on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in Yorkville, and lived there for a few years before moving to the town of Lodi in New Jersey, which was at the time inhabited sole of Italian-American Immigrants, of which 90% of them were from Sicily …
 
My Grandfather Philipo was a Shoemaker in Lercara Friddi as was Frank Sinatra’s 
grandfather. It’s most likely they knew each other being from a small town in the 1880’s, 90s, and early 1900 Hundreds .. We may even be related which I will try to find out at the city hall in Lercara Friddi. “Wouldn’t that be Cool?”
 
 
On to See My Friend FRANCISCO PLANETA
 
of
 
PLANETA WINES
 
 
PLANETA VINEYARDS
 
Sambuca, Sicily
 
 

 

CORLEONE
 
 
 
 
AL PACINO
 
 
 
aka
 
Michael Corleone
 
 
 
 
OFF to MARSALA 
 
to Visit My Friends Jose & Antonio Rallo 
at
Their Family Wine Estate DONNAFUGATA
 
 
 
View of MARSALA
 
SICILIA 
 
ITALY
 
 
DONNAFUGATA
 
MARSALA, ITALY
 
 
 
Brother & Sister
 
JOSE & ANTONIO RALLO
 
 
DONNA FUGATA VINEYARDS
 
MARSALA
 
 
 
 
Me & My FRIENDS WINES
 
CAMPACIO, VENICA SAUVIGNON
 
DONNAFUGATA “MILLE UNA NOTTE”
 
BARBI BRUNELLO
 
PLANETA CERASUALO Di VITTORIA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY SAUCE
 
by Daniel Bellino Z
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
GRANDMA BELLINO’S ITALIAN COOKBOOK
 
RECIPES From MY SICILIAN NONNA
 
by DANIEL BELLINO-ZWICKE
 
COMING JULY 2015
 
Recipes From Josephina Bellino Her Children & Grandchildren