La Tavola is Greenwich Village Italian-American

zLaTAVOLA

 

Ever Dream of taking a Wonderful Journey. A Journey through Italian-American New York and Italian America., complete with pots of Sunday Sauce, Ethereal Bolognese Sauce, Platters of Antipasto, Perfect Espresso, with trays of Cannoli and Sfogiatelle. Do you Dream of one day Eating the famed Christmas Eve, “Feast of the 7 Fish” or crave a perfect plate of Spaghetti Carbonara? Do you have visions of the Amalfi Coast of Lemoncello, Fiano, and a flawless Plate of Linguine al Vongole. Would you like to know how to throw the perfect Italian Dinner Party, complete with Antipasti, Pasta, Chianti, and Dolce, while the sounds of Frank (Sinatra) and Dino play along? Do you want to know which are the best; Italian Restaurants, Caffes, Pastry Shops, and Pork Stores. Would you like to know how to make the Perfect “Negroni” or pick out the perfect Italian Wine and how to make a textbook Bolognese? Where to go in Italy and what to see? If you’d like to live these things, or just read about them vicariously, then take the journey, the Beautifully Wondrous Journey of La Tavola. Eat as Al Pacino, Jake LaMotta, Sinatra, and Dino had eaten over the years. La Tavola is part Cookbook, Guide-Book. Some have said it’s like a Italian-American New York version of a YEAR in PROVENCE, but with Italian Food in New York, and with Italian-Americans instead of French Food, people, and places? LA TAVOLA entertains and Inspires with stories, antidotes, and recipes of Sunday Sauce (Gravy), Sausage & Peppers, Meatball Parms, and the “FEAST of The 7 FISH” Then MANGIA! Italian-American New Yorker’s Adventures of the Table. With 30 Wonderful Bellino Family Recipes.

 

Read About  : Caffe Dante, John’s Pizzeria Napoletan, Caffe Reggio, Facicco’s, and more.

La Tavola is Greenwich Village NEW YORK ITALIAN  … Get IT !!!

NEGRONI

The NEGRONI COCKTAIL
The NEGRONI by James Starace
                             ARTWORK by JAMES STARACE
 
 
 
The Negroni! A cocktail most Americans do not know. Too bad! With its contents of bitter Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Gin, the Negroni is quite the unique cocktail. Best of all, it’s tasty and refreshing, with the essence of an Orange Peel, it’s invigorates and rejuvenates  The Negroni is wonderful any time of the year, however, it is especially pleasing on a hot Summers day somewhere on the Coast in Italy, The South of France, or anywhere on the Mediterranean, or the Hamptons or South Beach for that matter.
 
So, not many people know of the Negroni and its charms, other than the more Sophisticated among our population. Even just a minute percentage of those who have traveled to its birthplace in Italy will even know of the cocktail. In this country, it is drunk more often in the city of New York. A city with a higher “Sophisticate” ratio than most, but even still, just a few will know of this drink, the Negroni Cock-tail.
So what it is it? Well its base is the highly popular aperitif of bitter Campari, a Bitter-Sweet aperitif from Torino, Italy. The Negroni is made of 1 0z. Campari, 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth, 3/4 oz. Gin, over ice cubes in a Rocks Glass with a splash of Club Soda on top and garnished with a slice of Orange or Orange peel. Voila!
The Negroni is usually drunk as an aperitif before dinner in the early evening, but just wonderful any-time of the afternoon, especially Alfresco, or late in-
to the evening day. A Negroni is a particularly splendid drink for a leisurely Afternoon Cocktail or two. As a matter of fact, I just had a couple nice after-noon Negroni’s at Cipriani Downtown just the other day.
The base of the Negroni Cocktail is the well known Italian Bitter Aperitif Campari created in Novaro, Italy near Milano in the 1860 by Gaspare Campari. The secret recipe that has been carefully guarded for more than 150 years consists of and in-fusion of alcohol, Herbs, and vegetables, including, Orange Peel, Chinotto, and other secret ingredients.
The Negroni Cocktail was created in 1919 at the Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy when the Count Neg-roni, a regular customer of the caffe, asked his wait-er for a Americano that had a little more of a kick to it. The Barman and waiter obliged the Count with a cocktail made with the normal Campari, and Sweet Vermouth of the Americano but with the addition of London Dry Gin. The Count Loved the Cocktail which was named after him and thus the Negroniwas born.
 
 
 
 

                                A NEGRONI and Its INGREDIENTS


 
  “Do You Remember Your First Time,” was the slogan of a wonderful Ad Campaign by Campari with pictures of good looking men or Gorgeous Women, and some sort of Campari Cocktail in hand, usually the most famous of Campari and Soda with a twist of Orange. The Ad was asking you if you remember the First Time you had your first Campari, but of course there was the Sexual connotation eluding to the first time you had Sex.
A ploy often used by marketers and ad agencies.
 
    I remember “My First.” It was of course on my first trip to Italy in 1985 sitting outside at a Caffe on The Piazza Popolo in Rome. I had seen the ads and people drinking them outside and when my waiter came over, I ordered one. It took a little getting used to at first, but I loved it and have ever since, and I’ve turned many people on to the drink ever since. On a whole, just a small percentage of Americans have ev-er even tasted Campari at all, whether it’s a Campariand Soda, Campari & OJ, or my beloved Negroni.
 
   So, if you’ve never had one, it’s time to get on the stick. We drink them like crazy at my buddy Pat Par-rotta’s house. Pat is an Italian Wine Lover, who throws great dinner parties, and he’s quite the dam good cook. We eat Pasta, Chicken, Steaks, Saus-ages, whatever, always with some nice Italian Wine.
Pat is a great host who knows how to throw a great dinner party. His dinners parties are always a huge success and we always start the day off with what has become a tradition at Pat and Gina’s home, a couple tasty Negroni’s or Campari Spritzers to get things rolling. I always look forward to having my Negroni when I get to Pat’s after riding the Ferry over from Manhattan.
As I’ve already stated, Pat is a wonderful Host who has great enthusiasm to cook for friends and family, serving some nice Italian Wine, along with
his celebrated Negroni’s which are better than just about any Bartender in New York. “For Real!”
 
   Making a good Negroni, brings to mind, that it’s not that easy. Not everyone can do it, as you need to get the proper balance of these very prominent ingredients of Campari, Gin, and Sweet Vermouth. I can, and Pat can, but many a bartender does not, no matter what they may think. I’ve been extolling the Wonders and Virtues of Campari and the Neg-roni for well over 20 years, while just a few Ameri-can’s on a whole have yet to discover it. Even as now some big cocktail association has named the Negroni, “The Cocktail of The Year” for 2011. People are just now catching up. I could have told you 20 years ago. In fact, “I did.”
     Anyway, back to Bartenders who don’t know how to make a proper Negroni. I was recently at a popular restaurant that has two bars inside where they make the new So-Called Artisanal Cocktails and House Specialty Drinks, made by “Mixologists.”
I ordered a Negroni. The Bartender made it and served it to me straight-up in a cocktail glass. I asked him to put it in a Rocks Glass with ice, whereby he gave me an almost disdainful look, as if he made a great drink the right way and who the Hell was I to have him alter it. “These Mixologist.” Well, first off, the drink was not great. It wasn’t even good. It was out of balance, and as I’ve said, in making a proper Negroni, it’s all about balance,
 
 
I know the balance, Pat knows the balance, that bartender did not. I’ve been drinking these things for more than 20 years, and I’m not going to have some bartender who’s just started making them a few months ago and who’s never been to Italy in his life tell me how it’s done. “Not gonna Happen!”
 
    So my friends, if you’ve yet to imbibe in one.
Don’t you think it’s high-time? Just make sure to get a bartender who knows the ropes. I sugest Cipriani Downtown. Even better, the families flagship restaurant, Harry’s Bar, Venice, in Rome or on the Amalfi Coast.
 
 
“The NEGRONI” excerpted from Daniel Bellino Zwicke’s  Book “LA TAVOLA”
 
In Paperback and kindle Edition
SUNDAY SAUCE  by Daniel Bellino "Z"
LEARN How to Make The Perfecr NEGRONI COCKTAIL  …. Pat Parotta’s Recipe in SUNDAY SAUCE  by Daniel Bellino “Z”
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SUNDAY SAUCE # 1 AMAZON BEST SELLER LIST

SUNDAY SAUCE  # 1 AMAZON BEST SELLER LIST

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 …

Greenwich Village Italian Gravy Recipe

 
 
LEARN HOW TO MAKE SUNDAY SAUCE
alla CLEMENZA
ITALIAN GRAVY
 
 
1. GET A COPY of SUNDAY SAUCE
WHEN ITALIAN AMERICANS COOK
by DANIEL BELLINO ZWICKE
 
CLEMENZA’S SUNDAY SAUCE RECIPE
Is In THERE .. IT’S AVAILABLE
on AMAZON.com .. Juts CLICK LINK ABOVE ..
“THAT’S STEP 1 .. FINITO !!!”
 
 
2. GO To YOUR LOCAL PORK STORE and or GROCERY STORE
For SAUSAGES, Ground Beef, Veal, Pork, etc., BRACIOLE,
OOLIVE OIL, TOMATOES, PASTA, etc..
 
 
 
3. ASSEMBLE INGREDIENTS, POTS and EVERYTHING
YOU NEED To MAKE The “SAUCE”
 
 
4.  SAUTE GARLIC & MINCED ONIONS in OLIVE In 
A LARGE POT.  ADD TOMATOES.
 
 
 
5.  BROWN BRACIOLE, THEN ADD To POT With TOMATOES ..
 
6.  IF USING PORK RIBS or PORK NECK, BROWN COMEPLETELY
THEN ADD TO POT With TOMATOES .. If NOT, SKIP THIS STEP.
 
 
7.  LET SAUCE With THE MEATS (Except MEATBALLS)
SIMMER At VERY LOW HEAT For 1 HOUR.
 
 
 
8.  BROWN SAUSAGES THEN ADD To SAUCE.
CONTINUE SIMMERING.
 
 
 
9.  AFTER YOU ADD The SAUSAGES TO SAUCE, MAKE THE MEATBALLS
by MIXING GROUND BEEF, PORK & VEAL with SALT, PEPPER, GARLIC,
FRESH PARSLEY, and GRATED CHEESE. FORM INTO MEATBALLS.
 
10.  PLACE MEATBALLS in a LIGHTLY OIL PAN and SLOWLY COOK in A
350  DEGREE OVEN For 15 MINUTES.
 
 
11.  REMOVE MEATBALLS FROM OVEN and PLACE in POT 
With SAUCE. The SAUCE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SLOWLY COOKING 
With THE BRACIOLE and OTHER MEATS For 2 1/2 HOURS by Now.
 
YOU Will JUST COOK The MEATBALLS in THE SAUCE For 15 
MINUTES on VERY LOW HEAT. BE CAREFUL WHEN
STIRRING NOT To BREAK MEATBALLS.
 
WHEN THE MEATBALLS HAVE COOKED In THE SAUCE
FOR 15 MINUTES, The “SAUCE” IS DONE.
 
12.  COOK RIGATONI or WHCICHEVER 
MACCHERONI YOU LIKE and SERVE
WITH THe “GRAVY”
 
PASS GRATED CHEESE
and
BUON APPETITO !!!
 
 
 
SUNDAY SAUCE 
Is AVAILABLE in PAPERBACK
And KINDLE on AMAZON.com
 
 
 
 
 
MANGIA BENE !!!
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..
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GINOS SECRET SAUCE RECIPE

At GINO’S
And The FAMOUS ZEBRA WALLPAPER




SECRET SAUCE
“SEGRETO”
    Tagliolini with Salsa Segreto. Secret Sauce? Shhhh!!! We lost our beloved Old-School Italian Red-Sauce Joint Gino’s of Lexington Avenue a couple years back. Gino’s opened in 1945 by Neapolitan Immigrant Gino Circicello, was a Gem of a
Restaurant loved by its many loyal customers who kept the place packed and
vibrant night-after-night, year-after-year. The place was perfect; Great Food
and good wine at reasonable prices coupled with excellent service by friendly
attentive waiters inside a homey comfy dining-room that everyone loved, from
its cozy little Bar at the front of the restaurant, its Phone Booth (one of the
last surviving in New York), and the famed Scalamandre Zebra Wallpaper that is
as much a part of Gino’s as the tenured old waiters, the Phone Booth, and the
popular Chicken Parmigiano.
    Among all the tasty pasta dishes, the Pasta with Salsa Segreta, (Segreto) “The Secret Sauce,” was a perennial favorite at Gino’s. All of Gino’s legendary clientele
loved it. Some of the clients just happened to be, people like; Frank Sinatra,
Tony Bennett, and Joe DiMaggio, to name a few of a large string of luminaries
to grace Gino’s over the years. Gino’s had many wonderful dishes that were soul
satisfy, unpretentious, and tasty as heck. They were all the usual suspects of
Italian Red-Sauce Joints everywhere; from Baked Clams Areganata, to Shrimp
Cocktail, to Spaghetti With Clam Sauce, Lasagna, the famed Veal Pamigiano, “the
entire menu.” I used to go to Gino’s with my cousin Joe quite a bit. My sister Barbara came a couple times, as did my brother Michael. But it was usually me and Cousin Joe, and if anyone else was tagging along as well. Now I love my pasta as all good Italian-Americans do, but my cousin Joe? He had me beat. The guy loves his pasta, and wanted it practically every day. I believe we tried the Salsa Segreta (Secret Sauce) on our first trip there. I think with Tagliolini, but you can have it with
Spaghetti, Rigatoni or whichever pasta you like. Well we loved it from the very
first, and would get it every time we went. Often we’d get Baked Clams and
Shrimp Cocktail to start, followed by a Half Portion each of Tagliolini with
Salsa Segreto, and as our main we might split a Veal Milanese with a “Nice
Bottle of Chianti.” We’d finish the meal with Espresso and a couple of
Desserts, maybe a Tiramisu and a Chocolate Tartufo.

    So the Secret Sauce, what’s in it, you want to know? Yes I identified the Secret ingredients one day, I made it, and it tastes exactly the same, and that’s as tasty as can possibly be, a 10 out of 10, you can’t get any better. It’s quite simple and you’d be amazed, but that’s the essence of all Italian Cooking, simply tasty. The Secret of The Secret Sauce is, “I shouldn’t tell you but I will.” I should be charging you $100 just for this one recipe but I won’t. “I hope you know what a bargain you people are all getting; my Sunday Sauce, Clemenza’s Sunday Sauce, my Lentil Soup recipe, Marinara Sauce, my famed Bolognese and more.
I’m getting robbed here!” But here you go, The Secret-Ingredients in the Secret
Sauce from the former Gino’s Restaurant on Lexington Avenue across from
Bloomingdales are  _ _ _ _ _ _ _  and  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  added to a
simple tomato sauce. That’s it! Basta !
The Cat is out of the Bag. Enjoy! Are you Happy? “You better be!”
 
 
 
 
Excerpted from SUNDAY SAUCE by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
The RECIPE and “SECRET INGREDIENTS” 
For SALSA SEGRETA “GINO’S SECRET SAUCE are in SUNDAY SAUCE 
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 
 
The FORMER GINO’S
On Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
NOW SADLY CLOSED
 
 
 
The Recipe for The SALSA SEGRETA LIVES ON
In SUNDAY SAUCE
SUNDAY SAUCE
RECIPES GINO’S SALSA SEGRETA
CLEMENZA’S GODFATHER SUNDAY SAUCE
DOLLY SINATRA ‘S SPAGHETTI MEATBALLS
And More …
GINO’S Was A FAVORITE 
of
FRANK SINATRA 
.
SCALAMANDRE ZEBRA WALLPAPER
 

 

GREENWICH VILLAGE NY ITALIAN

 

PATSY’S
“FRANK SINATRA ‘S FAVORITE”
West 56th Street
NEW YORK, NY
Frank Sinatra & Ava Gardner
 
“MANGIA BENE”
RAO’S
East Harlem, New York
 
New York’s Toughest Table
 
Cause “Frankie No” Says “NO” !!!!
JOHN’S PIZZERIA
Bleecker Street
Greenwich Village
NEW YORK
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
FAICCO’S
Manhattan’s Best Pork Store
Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 
GABAGOOL !!!!
 
 
PIZZA
NEW YORK & AMERICA’S
BEST PIZZA
DiFara Pizza
Avenue J , Brooklyn, NY
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
The MAESTRO of PIZZA
Mr. Dom DeMarco
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
BAR PITTI
The # 1 Best Italian Trattoria
in NEW YORK
Greenwich Village
and
“CELEBRITY CENTRAL”
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

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The RAGU BOLOGNESE COOKBOOK

SECRET RECIPE 

For The WORLD’S BEST” RAGU BOLOGNESE

by New York Italian Cookbook Author

Daniel Bellino “Z”

aka

DANNY BOLOGNESE

 
CARBONE
Formely Rocco’s Restorante
For More Than 70 Years
In Greewnich Village
Now New York’s Hottest New Restaurant
photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
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NEW YORK’S BEST SUNDAY SAUCE
“GRAVY”
Recipes & Stories In SUNDAY SAUCE
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Ingredients
For
SUNDAY SAUCE alla BELLINO
BellinoFmily-Pic.jpg
 
THE BELLINO FAMILY
1939
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
and CHARLES “LUCKY” LUCCIANO
 
 
A MEATBALL PARM SANDWICH
 
Read About Meatball Parm Mondays
in
Daniel Bellino-Zwicke ‘s
SUNDAY SAUCE
“When Italian-Americans Cook”
 
 
 GINO’S
In Memeory of GINO’S

One of NEW YORK’S
GREATEST
ITALIAN RESTAURANTS
EVER !!!!
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RECIPE For GINO’S ECRET SAUCE
SALSA SEGRETO
RECIPE in SEGRETO ITALIANO
 
 
CLEMENZA (Richard Castellano)
SHOWS MICHAEL (Al Pacino)
HOW To MAKE
SUNDAY SAUCE alla CLEMENZA
 
 
 
VESUVIO
Prince Street
Soho, New York
 
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 
NEWPORT STEAKS
Chianti, Barolo, Brunello
and
Newport Steaks
in
Greewnich Village
New York
 
 
La TAVOLA
Is
NEW YORK ITALIAN
 
 
 
CAFFE DANTE
 
NEW YORK’S BEST ESPRESSO
 
Greenwich Village New York
 
 
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 
 
 
Ingredients
The NEGRONI
Cocktail
 
at
Daniel Bellino’s House
 
 
 
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 
 
FLORENCE ITALIAN MEAT MARKET
 
Creators of The NEWPORT STEAK
 
GREENWICH VILLAGE, NEW YORK
 
 
 
 
 
Newport Steaks
From Florence Prime Meat Market
Greenwich Village
 
 
 
 
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS
 
Recipe In SUNDAY SAUCE
 
 
 
CAFFE REGGIO
 
GREENWICH VILLAGE
NEW YORK
 
 
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 
 
 
 
NEW YORK ITALIAN
GREENWICH VILLAGE RESIDENT
MARIO BATALI
 
 
For The WORLD’S BEST ITALIAN
SUNDAY SAUCE GRAVY
Click Above !!!
 
For SUNDAY SAUCE
“GRAVY”
 
 
 
 
Italian Cookbook Author
Greenwich Village Native
Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Making SAUCE 
In Greenwich Village
 
 
Sirio Maccioni
Founder of Le Cirrque
and
Creator of “PASTA PRIMAVERA”
Recipe in SEGRETO ITALIANO
 
SINATRA
 
“JUST BECAUSE”
 
 
 
MULBERRY STREET
LITTLE ITALY
New York
.
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.
.
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MONTE’S TRATTORIA
GREENWICH VILLAGE
NEW YORK
.
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CHEF PIETRO MOSCONI
TRATTORIA MONTE’S
.
.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

FORMAGGIO “Italian Cheese”

PROVOLONE
Our Favorite Cheese
 
 
 
CACIOCAVALLO
 
 
 
Smoked Caciocavallo
Caciocavallo Affumicato
 
PROVOLA
 
 
 
PARMIGIANO REGGIANO
 
SALUMI
 
and
OTHER GOODIES
at ITALIAN DELI SPECIALTY SHOP
 
 
PARMIGIANO REGGIANO
 
 
 
On AMAZON
at
ON AMAZON
at
 
 
 
 
 

 

WHAT WINE For SUNDAY SAUCE

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CHIANTI?

 

Wine for Sunday Sauce? What do you drink? Which wine pairs best with Sunday Sauce, thee Supreme Dish of Italian-America? Is it Chianti, most iconic of all Italian Wines? Perhaps Aglianico or Piedrossa from the region of Campania where the roots of Italian-American Sunday Sauce Gravy begin? Or a Sicilian Wine like Nero d’Avola or Norello Mascallese? If you trace the roots of Italian-American Sunday Sauce and the people who created it, Sicilians are among the top of the list. Now, I know since you came to this page that bottle of Carlo Rossi “Paisano” just had to catch your eye. And I’m sure most of you are asking the question, “Carlo Rossi Paisano, are You Kidding?” The answer. “No, Not Really.” Well I’m not saying it’s the best choice. OK so we have to match a good wine with that fabulous Sunday Sauce of yours. What to drink?

I’m here to tell you, it can be one or more of many wines, and don’t count a wine like Carlo Rossi Paisano out. “You’re Joking?” You say. No. Listen, this can be your wine, maybe not. I myself have drank some of the World’s Priciest, and so-called greatest wines in the World, “Trophy Wines,” like; Sassicaia, Gaja Barbaresco. La Tache, Chateau Petrus, Cahteau Haute Brion, Petrus, Chateasu Cheval Blanc, Chateau Latour, all the great Brunello and barolo wines, great vintage Champagnes, you name it, “I’ve had it.” And with my knowledge of wine, I can tell you, a lot of it is hype, and Marketing BS, and sometimes not. And I’ll tell you this, do not be so much of a snob, a Wine Snob. You see that Carlo Rossi, with all the prestigous wines that I’ve consumed over the years, I’m not above drinking that. Carlo Rossi .. The wine has special meaning and affection for me. It’s one of  the two wines my uncles always bought for our Sunday Family Meals. Meals of Meatballs, Sunday Sauce “Gravy,” Ravioli, Veal Marsala, Chicken Cactitore. My Uncles Tony and Frank always had either Carlo Rossi paisano or Gallo Hearty Burgungy on hand. They were their wines, and they only had other wines if someone brought something like Bolla Valpolicella, Rufino Chianti or some other wine. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Paisano or Gallo Hearty Burgundy are great wines, “No.” But they are not that bad. They are Italian-American Wines made by Italian-Americans and have social significance to Italian-Americans. These wines are part of our history, as are the wines from the great Robert Mondavi, The Mondavi Family, Francis Ford Coppola and other Italian Families in America.

So what am I saying? What wines to drink with the Sunday Sauce or any home-made Italian American Meal? Well, actually most of the time I do drink wines from Italy with my Sunday Sauce or whatever Italian food we’re making. The Carlo Rossi is just when we eat over Uncle Tony’s house with Uncle Frank and all the wonderful meals with Aunt Fran, Aunt Helen, Mommy, Cousin Tony, and my brothers and sister and the whole family. No, I’m not above drinking Carlo Rossi or Gallo if my Uncles are serving it. When we’re eating at home, we usually love to drink Chianti, most times, sometimes Barolo, Barbera, or Brunello. But most often it’s Chianti which I love and it goes quite well with just about anything we eat, especially Meatballs, Sausage, and Sunday Sauce. Chinati comes from Tuscany and is a medium bodied wine made mostly from Sangiovese (The Blood of Jobe), and with small percentages of other native Tuscan grapes like; Colorino, Malvasia Nero, Cannaiolo, or Ciegolo. 

One thing I must say is, that I usually don’t like wines like Big, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah from California or Australia. To me, these are the last wines I would ever want to drink with Italian food. Reason. These wines are usually to rich, and because of that, they clash with the food instead of complementing them. the wines you want to drink should have good flavor, but be light to medium in body and weight. Not Bif, Fat, Rich, and concentrated. “No Bueno!”

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YES! CARLO ROSSI

WINES To DRINK With SUNDAY SAUCE

1.    CHIANTI

2.    NERO d’AVOLA from SIICLY

3.    AGLIANICO

4.    BARBERA

5.    MORELLINO Di SCANSANO

6.    BRUNELLO

7.    BAROLO

8.    NERELLO MASCALLESE

9.    CARLO ROSSI “PAISANO”

10.   PEIDROSSA

11.   GRECO Di TUFO

12.   PINOT GRIGIO from FRIULI or ALTO ADIGE

Or Any Wine That You Like and Enjoy Drinking

 

Wonderful Recipes and Stories of Italian-American New York and America

Wonderful Recipes and Stories of Italian-American New York and America

LEARN HOW To MAKE "SUNDAY SAUCE"

LEARN HOW To MAKE “SUNDAY SAUCE”

Ode to Vinny’s La Focacceria e la Vastedda

 

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That’s VINNY on The Left

with One of His Many FANS

La Foccaceria? Oh where have you gone? Well, I do know actually. After more than 90 years in business, it was time to close the doors. And a sad day it was for thousands, including me. I first moved into the East Village in November 1982 .. I was working in another famed old New York Italian institution in The East Village, in John’s (Since 1908) on East 12th Street right around the block from La Foccaceria. La Foccaceria was a great little Sicilian Specialties restaurant on 1st Avenue between East 11th and East 12th Streets on the east side of First Avenue .. That was  the first spot where Vinny’s father opened the doors in 1914 … I’m sorry to say, I never went to that one but to it’s (La Foccaceria) 2nd location a couple blocks south on 1st Avenue between East 7th Street and St.  Marks Place (E. 8th Street) on the east side of the avenue. The new La Foccaceria, run by one Vinny Bondi was just one block from my apartment at the corner of Avenue A and St. Marks Place. In 1982 the East Village was on an up-swing in popularity and improvement from a sort of sub-ghetto of The Lower East Side. the neighborhood which was strongly Eastern European; Ukranian and Polish, mixed with Hispanics, Italians, and people of Jewish persuasion. When Mr. Bondi opened the doors almost 100 years before when the neighborhood was largely made up of Sicilian immigrants which included one Charles “Luck” Luciano whose parents moved to East 10th Street when Luciano was just 9 years old. In the early 80s when i first moved into East Village it was a low-rent neighborhood with apartments that were relatively cheap for the city, thus attracting artists, so-called wannabe actors and musicians and young people who wanted to live in Manhattan. In the East Village they could find an apartment (though not the best physically) at reasonable rates for the time, I did. Through a friend I was able to procure a 2 bedroom apartment for a mere $400 a month. Quite a bargain. I shared the apartment with my good friend jay F. for the first year in that apartment. Once he moved out, I kept the apartment for myself.

   Hey, I’m getting off the beaten track. Yes back in 82 the East Village was an exciting and changing neighborhood, perfect for me and other young people just starting out in this great city of ours.

    I was only paying $400 rent and had money to spend eating out. I used to eat at a Ukrainian Diner Odessa on Avenue A and Lesko’s as well, two doors down from Odessa. There I could get plates of home-made Perogis, fresh Keilbasi and other solid food for cheap. In the East Village there were a few old-school Italian holdovers like; John’s were I was working as a waiter & bartender at the time, Lanza’s (now over 100 Years old), De Roberta’s Italian Pastry (over 100 years old) Brunetta a great little Italian restaurant I used to go to which was on the same block as the original La Foccaceria and there was the current La Foccaceria on 1st Ave near Saint Marks Place .. I went in to La Foccaceria one  day, I met Vinny and I loved it from the very start. Vinny’s father and mother had started the place way back in 1914 … Vinny, I never asked his age, but he must have been in his late 60’s at the time (1983). La Foccaceria served an array of wonderful dishes; all the usual pastas like; Lasagna, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Spaghetti Vongole (Clam Sauce), and Sicilian Maccheroni, like Pasta con Sardi and Lasagna Coccati, broken pieces of lasagna pasta baked with sausage,peas, tomato, and mozzarella. Vinny had great soups like Pasta Fagioli and the best Lentil & Escarole Soup around. He sold sandwiches like Chicken Parmigiano, Meatball Parm, Sausage & Peppers, and his most famous dish of all, the famed Vastedda Sandwich of Palermo. A Vastedda (Vastedde) Sandwich as we’ve said is a very famous sandwich that is a specialty in Palermo, is made with Beef Spleen (or Veal) with Ricotta and Cacciocavallo Cheese on a small Sesame Seeded Bun. It is quite wonderful and was a specialty of the house at Vinny’s La Foccaceria. I just loved it, and at $1.60 per, even in 1982 it was one of New York’s great prepared food bargains. The average price of most sandwiches  back then was about $5.00 around town, so  a Vasteddeat $1.60 per? Wow, what a Bargain?

I had tried most of the dishes at La Foccaceria in my first year eating there, but there was one that I loved by far most of all. Yes, the Vastedde. Most times I would have a Vastedde and a bowl of Vinny’s wonderful Lentil & Escarole Soup, the best I have ever had. If it was Thursday or Saturday, the days that Vinny made Arancini (Sicilian Rice Balls) and Sfingione (True Sicilian Pizza), I might get a piece of Sfingione and Lentil & Escarole Soup, or Sfingione, a Vastedde, and Soup. Yeah! 

I often ate at Vinny’s on Thursdays and Saturdays, as they were the two days in the week when Vinny made Sfingione, which is real Sicilian Pizza, that comes from Palermo. This type of pizza is made in a pan and is thick just like what is know as Sicilian Pizza all over America, and has tomato and Mozzarella Cheese baked on top. Sfingione on the other had doesn’t have tomato or mozzarella, but minced Anchovies that are suteed with onions and breadcrumbs. This breadcrumb mixture covers the dough and then is backed in the oven, and “Voila,” you’ve got the true Sicilian Pizza known to Sicilians and Sicilian-Americans alike as Sfingione. 

Very made a great version of Sfingione, and I’d get a piece of it every week for the 11 years before I moved over to the west side in Greenwich Village. Saturdays was a very special day at La Focacceria as that the day that all the old guys who grew up in this neighborhood, but later bought homes outside of Manhattan, Saturday was the day many of these guys would take a ride into the hood to get a Vastedde, see Vinny and habg out with old friends, one coming from Staten Island, one from Brooklyn, one from Jersey, etc., etc., and they’d all meat up at Vinny’s for a nice lunch together and remember their old times in this old Sicilian Neighborhood.

Boy did I love Vinny’s. There was nothing like those Vastedde and Vinny making them. Vinny had a special stattion at a counter up front of the place where he cut the cooked Beef Spleen, fry it in lard, cut the bun, cut some Cacciocavallo, he’d lay the spleen on the bun, add some Ricotta, and sprinkle the cut Cacciocavallo Cheese over the top. Yumm! And I’d have a little chat with Vinny as he made my Vastedde right before my eyes. When i ordered it, all I had to say to Vinny, was, “One with everything.” That meant everything; the spleen, Ricotta and Cacciocavallo. Some people would order them minus the spleen. Why? Amateurs.

Sadly, Vinny closed his Foccaceria a few years ago. it was a sad day for me, no more Vinny, no more La Foccaceria, no more Vastedde.

Ode to La Foccaceria

Ode to My Pal Vinny

Ode to My Beloved Vasteddi

I Will Miss You All So

 

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

 

NOTE : In Palermo where the Vastedde Sandwich comes from, it is mostly known as Pane Milza (Muesa), which translates to “Bread and Spleen.” The spleen is first simmer to cook in gently boiling water until cooked through. The spleen is cooled down and refrigerated to cook later. When someone orders a sandwich, Vinny would take the large piece of Spleen, cut thin slices of it and fry them in lard that was in a pan at the counter of the focacceria. Vinny would then place the cooked spleen on a sesame seed bun that was split in half. He’d place a dollop of fresh Ricotta on top of the spleen, then grated Caciocavalo Cheese over the ricotta, and then top with the top piece of bread and place the Vastedde Sandwich on a plate and hand it to the lucky recipient, like me, just like they make it in Palermo.

NOTE II : You may have noticed different spellings for the same sandwich, Vastedde and Vastedda are both singular, while Vasteddi is the plural for more than 1 Vastedde.

 

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The FAMED VASTEDDA

“I ate these at Vinny’s twice a week. La Focacceria was just 1 block from my apartment in the East Village. Sadly Vinny closed about 8 years ago. Now I have to go all the way to Ferdinando’s in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn to get one. Either there are all the way to Palermo to Antica Focacceria S. Francesco, which I don’t mind at all, but I sure do miss going to La Focacceria on 1st Avenue, seeing my old buddy Vinny, eating a Vasteddi, an Arancini or some Sfincione which Vinny made on Thursdays and Saturday. The BEst Vasteddi in New York.

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SFINGCIONE

This is real SICILIAN PIZZA. Vinny made it on Thursdays and Saturdays and all the guys that used to live in the neighborhood but bought homes in Brooklyn, Staten Island or where ever, they’d come in to La Focacceria every Saturday for a VASTEDDA and some SFINCIONE and ARANCINI. It was quite a place.

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ARANCINI

Like any good Focacceria, Vinny made great ARANCINI too. You can find incredible tasty ARANCIN (Rice Balls) where ever you go in SICILY, stuffed with meat or cheese, they’re as tasty as can be, and at just about $1.50 a piece, a nice inexpensive treat and the perfect thing to eat between meals, or even a meal in themselves, two will do the trick.

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ARANCINI RECIPE

GRANDMA BELLINO’S COOKBOOK

RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA

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Ferdninado’s In Brooklyn.

You Can Still get a good Vastedda There …

Sadly, the only place left in New York

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Read About VINNY’S La FOCCACERIA

in Daniel Bellin o’s “La TAVOLA” ITALIAN-AMERICAN    NEW YORK …..

 

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Antica Focacceria San Francesco

PALERMO

The Antica Focacceria San Francesco is without question the most famous focacceria as well as the single most famous and popular place to eat in all of Palermo, and all of Sicily for that matter. This may very well be the place where Mr. Bondi (Vinny’s Father) modeled his place La Focacceria 1st Avenue after. We can’t really be sure, but it’s our guest bet. And for certain there must have been many different focaccerias all over Palermo when Mr. Bondi was a young man, that no longer exist, so he may have modeled his establishment in New York after one of those that no longer iexist, and yes, then-again, it may have been Focacceria San Francesco.

Anyway, the Focacceria San Francesco is without question my absolute favorite place to eat in Palermo, nothing comes close to this place, it’s absolutely and positively awesome. The ambiance is spectacular with its balcony, marble and granite counters, floor, and tabletops. And the food? The Food is Wonderful! The worlds best place to get Pane Milza (Beef Spleen Sandwich), Caponata and Arancini (Sicilian Rice Balls).

La Focacceria were made famous by Andrew Zimmer on Bizarre Foods, and even more famous by Anthony Bourdain on “No Reservations, but I started going there way before those two guys. 

Yes the food is wonderful, and just as wonderful are the prices, which are cheap to say the least. And the fact that they make a wonderful plate of their Greatest Hits, which includes Caponata, Aracini (Rice Balls) Panelle (Chickpea Fritters), and of course the famous sandwich Pane Milza (Muesa).

 

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Making a VASTEDDE

aka Pane Muesa

 

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My VASTEDDE

 

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Inside S. Francesco

FOCACCERIA

PALERMO

 

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Read This !

Focacceria San Franceso and the Street Food of Palermo, Sicily #StreetFood

#PalermoStreetFood

 

 

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My CANNOLO

Focacceria S. Franceso

2017

 

 

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Antica Focacceria San Francesco

PALERMO

 

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