Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Ginos Secret Pasta Sauce and Zebras

A Waiter at GINO'S

"You've got to get Pasta Segrete"

   Segreto? It’s secret in Italian. I got the idea for the book one day, well not the idea, but inspiration I’d say. I was thinking about one of our all time favorites restaurant, the food, the ambiance and all the fun we’d had there over the years. Many wonderful meals with family and friend, no foes. Dinners with Cousin Joe, Sister Barbara, Brother Michael, and Jimmy. Oh, the food was wonderful, all the great Italian Classics of good old Italian-American Red Sauce Joints of which this one, was one of the best. The classics, like: Baked Clams, Stuffed Artichokes, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Linguine with Clam Sauce, Chicken Parmigiano, Veal Marsala & Milanese, Chicken Cacctiatore, Ossobuco, Cannolis, Spumoni, and-on-and-on. I think you get the picture. Lots of good, affordable Italian Wine, the affable waiter, the phone booth, and the Zebra Wall Paper. If you were a regular their, from the last sentence, you the place I’m talking about. Yes Gino’s! Our beloved Gino’s of Lexington Avenue. Sadly they closed a few years ago. But we still have the memories of so many festive meals. Happy times, good eats.
  I discovered the wonders of Gino’s and first brought my cousin Joe there in 1999. The place was thrilling in that, when you walked in, you felt you were in the perfect place. Gino’s is charged with energy by its wonderful clientele, well-healed regulars who have been going there for years, they know the Maitre’d, the waiters and other customers, and likewise the waiters, bartender, and maitre’d know them. The first time you walk in, you feel that, and want to be a part of it. We did. Back then, Joe and I used to go out to eat together all the time, at least once a week. Joe knew about food, but not to the extent that I did. Joe would come in every week or so, and his driver would drive us around town. He’d pick me up early evening for a night of feasting and good times. We’d often eat at a couple different place. We’d have our main dinner and maybe a little bite to eat when we first went for cocktails to start the night off. As I said, Joe loved eating, and knew quite a bit, but as much as he knew, it wasn’t a third of what I knew about food, wine, and restaurants, and especially the restaurant, bar, and night club scene in New York. I was teaching Joe the ropes, so-to-speak, and Joe was an eager student. We had quite a lot of fun those few years, with dinners at Gino’s, Elio’s (Mondays for Lasagna), Da Silvanos’s, Bar Pitti, The Waverly Inn, Minetta Tavern, cocktails at Pegu and Temple Bar, and way too many other places to name right here. We did New York, we did it all!
   Back to Gino’s. So I had passed by Gino’s any number of times, but never went in to check it out. I was a downtown-er, and that’s where we did most of our eating, with an occasional trip midtown or other local if a place peaked our interest. So I did finally walk into Gino’s one day. I had to check it out. When I did, as I’ve already said, I walked in the door and immediately felt the energy of the place. Gino’s was packed, full of life and vibrant, and I knew I wanted to be there. I didn’t eat there right then and there, I was scouting the place out, but I knew I would be back. So I called Joe up and told him all about the place. It sounded great to Joe, this type of place was right up his alley, as it was mine. So Joe said yes, let’s check it out on our next night out.
   Our first ever trip to Gino’s was a few nights later. Joe packed me up at my place in Greenwich Village. I got in the car, as usual, we had a little discussion on what we’d be doing. We mapped out the night of eating and drinking, good times. We talked and decided to head over to Otto Enoteca for a bottle of wine and some Salumi before heading up town to Gino’s and our main dinner of the night. Joe loved Otto, and I was a fan too, so we headed to Otto.
    Well, we went to Otto, drank a little wine, had some Testa, Mortadella, and Prosciutto, and it was on to Gino’s. Back in the car, and Ziggy (our driver) drove us up to Lexington Avenue, across the street from Bloomingdale’s to Gino’s. We were excited as we walked up to the restaurant and through the door. The place was packed and super-charged. We loved it. The Maitre’d greeted us with the first of many warm welcomes. We were in like Flynn. We sat down at a nice table in the middle of the restaurant. We were happy campers. As happy as can be, for we sensed a wonderful meal ahead. Our hunch would turn out to be just right. A waiter came to our table, greeted us a warm welcome, gave us a wine list and menus, and asked what type of water we wanted. As always, we got a bottle of flat water. Joe gave me the wine list as he usually does and told me to pick something out. I looked over the reasonably priced list and picked out a tried and true wine from my good friend Luigi Capellini in Greve. The wine, a bottle of Verrazzano Chianti Classico. The waiter went to get the wine, and Joe and I looked over the menu. We were happy to see a great old school Italian menu. The Red Sauce kind of a good old classic Italian-American joint, of which there used to be many, but at this point of time, far fewer. They had; Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Clams, Hot Antipasto, Clams Posillipo, Spaghetti Vongole, Lasagna, Canneloni, Veal Parm, Veal Milanese, Eggplant Parmigiano, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Veal Marsala, Scampi, and all the usual suspects. We were in heaven, and it was heard narrowing down what to eat.
   One dish really caught our attention, and especially Joe, who although I love my pasta, Joe had has me beat, he’s the pasta freak. Freak in a good way that is. The dish was Pasta Segreto (Pasta w/Secret Sauce), and us intrigued.
    The waiter brought the bottle of Chianti, opened it, and we were on our way. I ripped off a piece of bread and ate it. So, we decided on the menu. We order a Shrimp Cocktail and Baked Clams Oreganata to start. We would share these two antipasto items, then move on to the Primi, the pasta course. We decided on, and just had to have the Pasta Segrete, a half order each. We both love Veal Milanese (Frank Sinatra’s favorite), and as we were having antipasto, and pasta, as well as a couple desserts, we decided on one Veal Milanese to split for the main course, thus leaving room for some tasty desserts we knew Gino’s would have. We talked with the our waiter about the menu, and he agreed that we had chosen wisely, and that one Milanese would be fine, so we could eat dessert and he’d help us pick the two best later.
    So we drank wine, and nibble on the bread, chatted and waited in anticipation for the antipasto to arrive. I love Shrimp Cocktail since childhood and don’t always eat it all that much these days, so it’s always a special treat. The Baked Clams and the Shrimp Cocktail came and were a great way to start the meal. The wine was great. Hey it’s Castello Verrazzano!
   So now, we were really excited. This mysterious Pasta Segreto was about to come out. You can get the Secret Sauce with whatever Pasta you like, Spaghetti, Raviolis, Tagiolini, Penne, Gnocchi, or Rigatoni. Joe and I both love Rigatoni, so that’s what we went for, two half portions of Rigatoni Segrete. Well, the waiter brought us our Pasta with Secret Sauce. Guess what! It was outrageous, we loved it. Joe went crazy, and could stop talking about it, and it was just a couple weeks before he’d have to go back and get another “Fix.” Yes the Pasta with the Secret Sauce did not disappoint. We loved it, and would be back for many more bowls.
    We finished the Pasta, grudgingly so, as we didn’t want the experience to end, “It was that good!” We waited a few minutes for the Veal Milanese. It came out, and we could tell just by looking at it, that it would be great. For those of you who might not know, Veal Milanese is one of Italy’s most famous a classic of all dishes. It’s a Veal Chop that’s pounded thin, breaded with breadcrumbs and fried and tipped with a Salad of Arugala and Tomato. The dish is simple, simply delicious when done right. Veal Milanese was one of Frank Sinatra’s all-time favorite dish, along with Spaghetti Meatballs, and Clams Posillipo. Frank used to get it often at his favorite of all restaurants, Patsy’s of West 56th Street, just 10 blocks from Gino’s. Both old-school Italian Joints were among Frank’s favorites. Patsy’s was Frank’s # 1 favorite, but Gino’s wasn’t far behind, and Ol’ Blue Eyes ate there many times over the years. Anyway, the Veal Milanese was just perfect and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, life is good at times like these.
   We finished our Veal Milanese, and it was now time to  think about  desserts. I love sweets and so does Joe, so he said we gotta get two. The waiter told us the Tiramisu was “The Best in Town,” and the Cheesecake was really wonderful as well, so we went with his suggestions. Throw in a couple cups of Espresso and some Anisette too, and we were still in heaven.
   Needless to say, our meal was fantastic. We loved it. We loved Gino’s and would be back for more.
    We went back to Gino’s a couple weeks later. Joe loved the Pate Segrete and kept talking about it. He was back for more. We loved the menu we had the last time, and pretty much went with the same again. When we were eating the Segrete Pasta I identified the secret ingredients. They were butter and Parmigiano, mixed into Gino’s basic tomato sauce. Just a little butter and the grated Parmigiano does the trick for a tasty sauce. The recipe is in the book, and don’t worry, we didn’t eat the same thing every time we went to Gino’s. Over the years, we pretty much had every dish on the menu, from; the Minestrone and Pasta Fagioli, Manicotti, Lasagna, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Parmigiano, Veal Marsala and all. Specials too! We ate it all. “And loved every minute of it.” Gino’s, we miss you so! But great memories linger on.

Daniel Bellino Zwicke


SEGRETO ITALIANO - Secret Italian Recipes and Favorite Dishes

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke










And More ....


Steven S. says :

There is something very authentic about this book and the author Daniel Bellino-Zwicke. Entertainingly straight-forward and real, this cookbook has an awesome Italian American vibe throughout from cover to cover. Use this cookbook to create a dining experience that will make spectacular memories of comfort and deliciousness!

Italian and Italian-American cuisine is one of my favorites and it is just a blast trying out these rocking recipes in my own kitchen. These really are some secrets from the masters because they are uniquely wonderful – just created the Eggplant Caponata to the delight of my friends and family!

If you love Italian American food and like to cook and impress your Soprano’s fans, then pick up this book now!


Salsa Segreto


Lexington Avenue


One block north of Bloomingdale's famous department store. Gino Restaurant, which all the regulars called Gino's was one of the greatest most beloved Italian Restaurants in the history of New York City. And it's just that, part of New York City History. Sadly, we lost Gino's nine years ago, as the restaurant sold its last plate of its famous "Pasta Segreto" in the Winter of 2010. Some of Gino's many regulars which included the likes of Frank Sinatra were brought to tears the day Gino shut its doors. The restaurant was truly one of those much beloved places that you don't see every day, and it's a dam shame we lost her. All of us who ever went there have many cherished memories spent with friends and family at Gino's. I'm sure if Frank Sinatra was still alive, he'd tell you a few stories himself. Maybe his daughters Tina and Nancy Sinatra who of course are still alive might have some memories of their father, the great Francis Albert Sinatra holding court at Gino's. Yes we all know that Patsy's across town from Gino's was Frank's favorite Italian Restaurant o f all-time, but Mr. Sinatra loved Gino's as well, and dined there many times.

Hey Tony Bennett who is till alive, is a fan of Gino's. Maybe he can tell us some stories. Well, best selling Italian Cookbook author Daniel Bellino Zwicke is alive and doing well, and always writing about Italian Food, restaurants, pizza, pasta, celebrities, and Italy, and he has told us a few stories of great times with friends and family; his Cousin Joe, Brother Michael, and sister Barbara, and his fond memories of eating Baked Clams, Rigatoni Segreto and Veal Milanese, which Daniel says was his typical dinner when he dined at Gino's with Cousin Joe Macari (Macari Vineyards).

Yes Gino's was one great restaurant, that saw the likes of Mike Wallace, Gregory Peck, Gay Talese, and Italian Bombshells Sophia Loren and  Gina Lollibrigida. The great things about Gino's was that it was a well-rum machine, and its total mix of wonderful expertly prepared Italian Food, lively ambiance, excellent service, and cool vibrant crowd made for the most perfect mix that was Gino Restaurant. And if that wasn't enough, the prices of the food and wine was most reasonable. This was just another added plus of this legendary New York restaurant. And the restaurant that Gino's was, as shall tell you that the type of restaurant it was what we now call Old School Italian Red Sauce Joints. Yes, an old school Italian Red Sauce Joint, and the best old school Italian restaurant that any could ever possibly be. The same as places like John's of 12th Street, Monte's Trattoria in Greenwich Village, Rao's, up in East Harlem, New York.  Like any Red Sauce worth its Salt, Gino's had great Red Sauce of course, with items like, Baked Clams, Spaghetti Meatballs, Manicotti, Lasagna, Veal and Chicken Parm, and Frank Sinatra's favorites; Clams Posillipo and Veal Milanese.

We morn the passing of Gino Restaurant, as we morn the closing of two other great Old School Italian eateries of DeRoberti's Italian Pastries and Lanza's Restaurant, both of which were on 1st Avenue two doors from one-another on the block of 1st Avenue between East 10th and 11th Streets in New York's East Village, which years ago was simply known as the Lower East Side. Luckily the other famous old Italian Eatery, "John's of 12th Street" is alive-and-kicking after more than 110 years in business in the old Sicilian neighborhood where Mob Boss Charle's Lucky" Luciano grew up (born in Lercara Friddi) after his family moved to East 10th Street (# 265) from Sicily.






Frank Sinatra
Jackie Kennedy
Aristotle Onassis
Ed Sullivan
Gay Talese
Tony Bennett
Gregory Peck
David Suskind
Mike Wallace
Dan Rather
Gina Lollibrigida
Sophia Loren
Nicholas Pileggi
Nora Ephron
Ralph Lauren

Other Facts

GINO RESTAURANT was named after owner Gino Circiello. Gino's partner was Guy Aventuriero. They were both born in Capri, Italy.

The tow partners Gino and Guy financed their restaurant (Gino's) with their own money, along with help from Franco Scalamandre who owned the Scalamandre (Wallpaper and Fabrics).

The famous Zebra wallpaper was designed by Flora Scalamandre.

Gino's most famous dish was Pasta with Salsa Segreto (Secret Sauce)



YELP Review of GINO'S by Author Daniel-Bellino-Zwicke.com

Dinner at GINO'S of CAPRI



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Italian Cocktails in Greenwich Village

My Don Ciccio Manhattan



I was walking home yesterday after doing a few errands. I was walking from east to west on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village when just a little over a block from my apartment at Macdougal & Bleecker and normally I would continue west on Bleecker for one block then make a left onto Avenue of The Americas. However I decided to take a slight detour as I wanted to pass Dante NYC (Cocktail Lounge) to see if I spotted any friends there. So I made the left on Macdougal Street heading south. As I approached Dante, I saw someone covering part of his face to under his eyes with a napkin as to hide his face and joke around with me. I got closed and my friend Kresh removed the napkin and revealed his face. He was there with my pal Vince and he started laughing, and saying,"Danny's here. We're complete." I was glad to see them and sat down. They already had a couple Negroni's in front of them. We started chatting and I knew I was in for a good time. Yes of course, as one should be whenever going out for cocktails. We were talking when the waitress came over and asked if I wanted a cocktail as well? "Hell Yeah," I thought to myself, and also was thinking what I wanted t drink, and of course I decided on a Negroni, after all, it was Negroni Time at Dante. And so I ordered one, which between the hours of 4-6, they cost $10 instead of the normal $14 during non-Happy Hour hours. This is good. 

We were all chatting and having a good time when my Negroni arrived at the table, so now I could join in on the drinking and we were having a most wonderful time. Then Kresh's friend Jay came. He ordered a cocktail with flowers in it, and I can't remember he name. 

Well, my three friends that I was at the table with, are all in the wine business selling wine in New York City. My friends Kresh also makes his own wine in Croatia, and sells it to several restaurants and wine bars (Bacari) in Venice, including one of Venice's most wonderful restaurants of all, Al Covo. This is very cool, and Kresh was showing me a video of him actually delivering the wine by boat to Al Covo. Again, "very Cool."

So we were having a good old time at Dante and Kresh and Jay ordered a second drink, so I figured I'd get one as well. M y Negroni was good, but I wanted something different this time around, so I was to thinking what to get. I had seen a Manhattan made with Amaro instead of Sweet Vermouth, and I thought'd like to get one of those, so when the waitress came by, I asked her if she had one of those on the cocktail menu. When I explained the drink to her, she said they din't have that on the menu, but of course the bartender would make one for me, if that's what I wanted. "Cool." So I had to think about what kind of Whiskey to get, and which Amaro I wanted in place of the Sweet Vermouth. I inquired about the Amaro, and she brought me a list of Amari. I wanted to get one I'd never had before and so I chose Don Ciccio. The waitress took my order, and after probably 15 minutes, maybe more, my friends started wondering about my drink. Kresh said, "Where's your drink. It's taking a while." I wasn't worried. Hey they were busy. The drink came, and it was well worth the wait. The presentation was beautiful. My Amaro Manhattan looked great in its cocktail glass, and not just that, but there was a tiny little carafe filled with more of my Manhattan inside, and it was on Ice & Garnished with Luxardo Cherries and an Orange Twist to boot. We all admired the presentation and everyone thought it was just great. And so I took a sip of my cocktail. "Delicious!" I loved my Amaro Manhattan, and thoroughly enjoyed it,

After a while, Kresh brought up, us going for dinner. We talked it over, and decided to go to one of our favorites, and especially our "Red Sauce Club," which is our little group who go out to eat at Old School Italian Restaurants around New York. John's on East 12th Street (Since 1908) is one of our favorites, and we decided to go over there.

Anyway, as usual, we had a great time at Dante. The place is a bit expensive, but we always have a nice time, so, "Ce la Vie."

Daniel Bellino Zwicke




July 2, 2019












Ingredients :

2 ounces RYE WHISKEY (Bulleit, Mitchers, Templeton)

1 Ounce Amaro of Choice (Averna, Lucano, Nonnino, Ramazzotti)

1 Dash of Angosura Bitters

1 Maraschino Cherry

1 Orange Peel (optional)

Fill a cocktail glass with Ice and some water, to cool the glass.

Place ice in a cocktail shaker (half full). 

Add a dash of Angostura Bitters to shaker.

Add the Rye Whiskey and Amaro.

Mix with with you cocktail spoon for i minute.

Discard ice from the cocktail glass. Place a strainer over the cocktail shaker and add the contents to the cocktail glass, minus the ice.

If using a orange peel (optional) add it now.

Serve and enjoy.







Coming Soon !


New Orleans Triple Header on Decatur Street





"My Decatur Street Triple Header New Orleans" what is it, you ask? It's quite a wonderful thing and one I suggest you do if you find yourself in the fare city of New Orleans, Louisiana. I've been going down there for some time now, and know a thing or two about this, one of America's great cities, and certainly the most unique. As most people know, New Orleans is renowned for its food and restaurants, along with wonderful architecture and of course great music. But, you got to know which restaurants and other eateries are best, and the same goes for the music. 

Now, down to the food and drink, and my Deccatur Street Triple Header. OK, you still want to know, "what the Hell is It?" Well I first discovered that great sandwich, the Muffuletta at Central Grocery, along with the wonderful ritual of Beignets and Cafe Creme (Coffee) at Cafe du Monde on my first trip to the Big Easy with my Brother Michael, way back in 1995. We went to both these places, as well as the 3rd spot in my Triple Header, when we went for dinner at Tujague's after my sister-in-law Eileen won a little money on a Slot Machine on the Paddle Boat Casino that we took a ride on. "Thanks Eileen," we had a great time there at Tujague's, all having their famous Table d' Hote Dinner.

Now back to My Decatur Street Triples Header. First off, the first thing is heading over to the Central Grocery for their World Famous Sandwich, the Muffuletta which was invented there over 100 years ago by the Sicilian immigrant owner Salvatore Lupo. The sandwich is made, first off we start with the bread which the sandwich gets its name from, a large round loaf Sicilian "Muffoletta Bread" is a large flat loaf of bread. The bread is cut in half horizontally, then stuffed with Italian Provolone Cheese, Mortadella, Ham, and Salami and topped with the famous Olive Salad, made with large Green Sicilian Olives, Celery, Roast Peppers, and pickled Vegetables dressed in olive oil and Oregano. The Sandwich is one of the World's Great Culinary Delights and the perfect way to start my cherished Decatur Street Triple Header.

I must warn you that the current owner of Central Grocery who married into the Lupo family is one "Miserable Bastard," who has the personality of a Dead Fish. Just Horrible. Don't worry, the sandwich makes up for it. Order your sandwich, give the miserable bastard the money for the sandwich, don't let his "Horrible Attitude" bother you, get your sandwich, take it to the counter and eat it in delightful Bliss.




And a Barq's ROOT BEER





Cafe Du Monde

Decatur Street



Cafe Creme & Beignets





The next stop on my Triple Header of Decatur Street New Orleans, is to me, one of the greatest places, not just in New Orleans, but of all of Gods Good Earth, "seriously, I Love this place." Why's it so great? Well it's one of those places were everybody and anybody who goes to New Orleans goes here, to do what you do, when you got to the Cafe du Monde, and that's to eat Beignets covered with tons of Powdered Sugar every day 24/7, 365 days a year, "Cafe du Monde never closes." And to go with your tasty fresh fried French Beignets, you get a Cafe Creme chicory coffee, that taste so good. And it's all cheap enough for everyone to partake. This is my # 2 in my New Orleans Triple Header.







Now on to # 3, as we head back down Decatur Street to the oldest restaurant in New Orleans, "Tujague's" and their stand-up bar for a Grasshopper Cocktail. Yes, I said a Grasshopper Cocktail. And you're wondering why a Grasshopper(? Well, the drink was invented right here in 1918 by bartender Philip Guichet. Most people who go to the "Long Bar" at Tujague's have no idea the drink was invented here, and the 3 times I came here and ordered one, and everyone started to ask me what I was drinking, and after I told them, everyone in the bar started ordering Grasshoppers too. "I love doing this."




with a Friend at "The LONG BAR"











Tuesday, June 25, 2019

New York $3 PBR BEER DIve Bars

$3 PBR Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer

New York and the $3.00 PBR, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer has been a God-Send to many New Yorkers. As you all know, the US Economy has been in the Shitter for the past 5  years or so.
Many people are out of work, and many who are working, are taking home Half-as-Much Money or more of what they used to make. People have had to buckle down and give up or curb many things they enjoyed previous to the current state of our economy, which is in almost a Depression Era State.
Yes, everybody says that we are not in a Depression, we're in a recession. Those are the Rich and Well-Off, The 1%-ers  talking. To many, the state of our Union and their feelings are of Depression.
So, because of the Terrible State of our Economy you have given up eating out 3 times a week, you buy less clothes, spend less on Entertainment and any number of things. You haven't had a vacation in the past two years, maybe more. You've given up a lot. We all have.
Now when it comes to socializing, going out for a few Beers or Cocktails with some friends, you've had to cut back on that too. But hey, you gotta draw a line somewhere, and everyone is entitled to a few drinks to unwind every now and then, and to be with friends. Yes times are bad, people are hurting, you need your friends more than ever. And having a few Beers or Drinks is one of the most common adult ways to do so. It's natural and part of everyday life. You should be able to have two or three drinks or beers and not have to spend a small fortune doing so. You should be able to have 2 beers for about $10 including tip, and about $16 for tow drinks including tip. That's reasonable. That's what most people pay around America, and even less. But we don't live in America, we live in the greatest City in The World, New York, and Cocktails and Beers here can be oh-so-dear. "Expensive!" Expensive as Hell, "Ridiculously Expensive." It's absurd and outrageous, with many places thinking it's normal and OK to charge $16.00 or more for a measly little Cocktail made by a friggin so-called "Mixologist." Ha!  It's not OK, what's a person to do? So yes, we live in New York, and having a couple cocktails here can be a costly undertaking.. What is a Poor Working Guy or Working Girl to do??? Well Boys and Girls, let's Thank God for that great thing of wonder and the Bars and establishments who so graciously and kindly serve it, The $3.00 PBR, That's right, a $3.oo Beer in The Land of The Over-Priced $16.00 Cocktail, Manhattan, New York, NY..... It's quite Sad, Greedy too, not to mention "Ridiculous Ludicrous and Insane."  
Yes, Thank God and let's thank the Kind-Hearted proprietors who serve $3.00 PBR'S or any Beer for just $3 or $4 in a New York Bar. You are doing your fellow man a public service and we thank you for that. Whoever you are, you are to be commended, and Shame-On-You, all those places that serve $14 PLUS Cocktails. "RIP-OFF" !!! Wish the masses would Boycott these places and patronize places like Blue & Gold Bar, 7B, and anyplace who has a heart. Bars that serve 3 and 4 Dollar Beers.
I just have to say, it's great to go to a place like Blue and Gold Bar on East 7th Street and know that you can have 3 or 4 Beers for just $12 to $16, accounting for a Buck a Pop for the Barkeep. Now that's pretty good. I have had the best times hanging at Blue & Gold with some friends. You sit at the Bar or get into a nice comfy booth, drink your Beers ($3 PBR'S), relax, listen to the Music, Chit Chat, and just enjoy, and it's not going to cost you The Shirt Off Your Back.
Yes, you can have 4 Beers, tip included for the price of 1 Rip-Off Drink at one of those Rip-Off Joints. And if you are Dumb enough to have four drinks in one of those places, guess what it's going to cost you? About $75 my friend.
Well, do the Math, and if you can afford $75 for only 4 drinks, God Bless You. And if you can't, you've got an alternative. Right, your local $3.00 PBR Joint. They're a God-Send.
 Daniel Bellino Zwicke

 Copyright 2008 Daniel Bellino Zwicke


BLUE & GOLD BAR in the East Village, on East 7th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Blue & Gold has long been a favorite of mine ever since I lived in the East Village from 1982 to 1994. It's just a cool ol normal old style bar with a pool table, standard 50's 60's Bar Decor, and Best-of-All $3.00 PBR'S and $6.00 Cocktails. I love it.7B   a.k.a. The Horseshoe Bar, also in the East Village, a bastion of cheap and fare prices in Manhattan and Land of The $3.00 PBR and other $3 and $4 Beers.  7B  is located on the corner of Avenue B at 7th Street, hence the name "7B"  ... The nickname Horseshoe Bar comes from the shape and dimensions of the bar, "Horseshoe Shaped." The bar has been the setting of numerous movie shoots, including the scene in Godfather II when Frankie Pantangeli (Frankie 5 Angels) goes to this bar for a meeting with the Rosato Brothers, and Danny Aiello raps a Piano-Wire around his neck. A scene from Crocodile Dundee and other movies as well ....  But Best of all, at 7B they serve $3.00 Beers, cheap drinks, and they have a photo and sell Potato Chips and Pretzels which practically no bars in Manhattan ever do any more. And this is a good thing when you get the munchies from the Beer. Glory Hallelujah, thank God for 7B .. 

. .


Daniel Zwicke


I first wrote this piece way back in 2008. I was unemployed at the time, and not doing as well as I am today. What a difference a decade makes. No, I'm sill not rich, no where near it, though I have saved a bit more money, and definitely doing a lot better than I was when I wrote "New York & The $3 PBR," and how much it meant to me, and a good many New Yorker's at the time when New York and America had gone into a major recession and financial downturn. Many lost their jobs, as did I, and millions other fellow Americans. Many lost their jobs, and got new jobs at half their previous pay and even worst. And on top of it, the average price of a cocktail in New York was somewhere around $14, and many places at $16 &$17 before tip. Just figure on Twenty Dollars a drink at those places. And with sky-high rents, what was a person to do? If you wanted to go for 2 or three drinks, it could cost you $40 to $60 just for  a few drinks. Again, "What is a person to do?" I person has to drink, doesn't one? Well no, it's not really a necessity, like, air, water, food. Or is it? Yes, for many it is. The ability to go out for two or three drinks, and not pay, "An Arm & a Leg" so to speak. Shouldn't your average Jane or Joe Shmoe be able have two or three drinks for just about 20 Bucks or less, including tax, tip, drinks, everthing? "Hell Yeah!" Well my good friends, just like back in 2008 when I wrote New York & he $3 PBR, believe it or not, you can still go to bars in NY and get a three dollar beer, a $3 PBR, and even for just $2.00 ... "I Love it!" This is certainly good news. I was thinking about those places, and wondering, did they still have $3 Beers? Yes They do. There are even places where you can go and get a Shot & a Beer for just Six Bucks. Yes I said $6.00 ... "Well, where the Hell are they," you want to know? Read on my friends.


BLUE and GOLD BAR ... East 7th Street, EAST VILLAGE, NY NY  ... "They Still Got $3 PBRs" and you can get a SHOT & BEER for just $6. ... "Still my Favorite Bar" in New York

7B Horseshoe Bar at the corner of East 7th Sreet & Avenue B in he East Vilage of New York ...  Yes they sill have $3 PBRs and other Beers, and one of the Very Few Bars in NEW YORK where you can still buy Pretzels & Potato Chips , "Love It!"
169 BAR ... Lower East Side, NEW YORK NY ...  $3 PBR'S, GENESSEE CREAM, MILLER HIGH LIFE, MILLER LITE and other Beers.

RUDY'S ... 627 9th Avenue "HELL'S KITCHEN" NEW YORK NY, between 44th & 45th Streets ... Pitchers of BEER for Only $8.00 & FREE HOT-DOGS .. $3 Pints of RUDY'S BLONDE LAGER

MILANO'S "New York's Favorite Dive Bar" ,, 51 East Houston Street, New York, NY .. No, they may not have $3 PBRs, but $4 cans of ROLLING ROCK, a great Jukebox, and the fact that it's NYs Favorite Dive Bar is good enough for me. I've had lots of wonderful times here, spent banging back a few brews, dropping cash into the Jukebox to play all my favorite songs (NO HIP HOP RAP CRAP), and sing along with my Pals. We've had many legendary nights here.


Milano's Bar



123 Rivington Street, NY NY ... 

$2 PBR'S  


Welcome to The Johnson's


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Our Favorite PICASSO Painting


Pablo Picasso


We just love this painting, as do so many others. Daniel Bellino says, "I absolutely went nuts for this wonderful little painting the moment I saw it. I love Picasso, and this little painting is my most favorite of all. The first time I came upon it, at the MOMA, I was astonished. I must have looked at it for almost 15 minutes, before moving on." That's how it captivated. I never get tired of looking at it. This is the genius of Picasso. And just one of so many examples.

"What's your Favorite Picasso painting?"

Read and See More PICASSO !


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Best Carbonara in Rome & NewYork Spaghetti



Read about the best SPAGHETTI CARBONARA in Rome, Italy and good old New York City, the place to get the best Italian Food in America.

The 110 year old John's of 12th Street has been serving up great Italian food for more than 100 years to hungry New Yorker's. It's the place to get the Best Speedino alla Romano (Fried Mozzarella) in town, they serve up tasty Baked Clams , and yes one of the Best Plates of Spaghetti Carbonara in all of New York.

And with the original 110 year old decor still in tact, John's is a place not to be missed. Best Selling Italian Cookbook Author Daniel Bellino "Z" says "John's is a Living Museum Piece," that you don't just look at things, but live it. It's a shame more of these great Old School Italian Joints were not preserved. Specifically, Lanza's which was another 110 year old restaurant  (Sicilian) that was recently shut down ("A SIN") along with 112 year old DeRobertis Italian Pastry shop two doors away. "The City should not let these things happen," Bellino says. I wsih there had been a program put into place, wereby the city of New York would buy these buildings with old restaurants in them and lease the reestaurant spaces to capable restaurateurs to kkep the places going, "Places like Lanza's and DeRobertis should never Die. It's a dam shame, and a Sin that we lost those two places. Now, we can never get them back. Thank God, we still have John's. And Monte's over in Greenwich Village."