Showing posts with label Mario Batali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mario Batali. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Me My Chinese Duck and NOODLETOWN




I started goign to Noodletown on The Bowery, way back in 1983, a good 14 years before Mario Batali ever dreamnt of the place, I was there eating Roast Duck over white rice, and my favorite thaing on the menu, the amazing Shrimp Wonton Soup. I was sort of an expert on eating in New York Chinatown, knowing all the best place, and what to eat. My favorites were The Double Hey Rice Shop on Mott Street, Sun Say Gai Rice Shop on the corner of Baxter and Canal, and a few other places in the neighborhood.

My ex-girlfirend Genie's Uncle Suwat taught me what I knew. He was the real expert. He was born in Bangkok Thailand, and je knew the Royal Family of Thailand. He moved to New York and opened an antique shop on West 10th Street in Greenwich Village. Suwat knew all the good places to go, and he gave me an education. I used to work at John's Italian Restaurant on East 12th Street in the East Village. Suwat and Genie would meet me after work, and we'd go down to Chinatown for some good eats, 

At Double Hey, we'd eat Fried Butter Fish, Roast Duck, BBQed Pig, Soy Sauce Chciken and all sorts of tasty Chinese Food. And so I was hooked. I really fell in Love with Chinese Roast Duck, and ate it 6 to 8 times a month. Back in the 80s when I lived in the East Village, I'd eat in Chinatown at least 2 times a week. The food was amazing, and so cheap, it was absolutley amazing. For years, Roast Duck over Rice, cost just $4.50 a plate. Even to this day, it's just $6.50 a plate. Barbecued Pig, Roast Pork, Soy Sauce Chicken, or Roast Duck, all cot the same amount, $4.50, or you could pick two of those items on a plate with rice for the same amount. You could get half Duck and jalf Pork with rice for just $4.50, and if you wanted 3 items, you told the waiter which three you wanted and it was jist 1 dollar more.

I also loved  Roast Duck & Wonton Soup, which was a big bowl filled with chicken broth, Roast Duck, and Pork Wontons, all for juts $4.50 (now about $6.50). I loved it. Noodtown which I discovered on my own, was what is known as a Rice Shop, and they had all these dishes too, but I discovered their amazing Shrimo Wonton Soup in 1983 and I was hooked. It was amazing. I loved it, and still do. When I went to Noodletown, aka Great NY Noodletown, I always got the Shrimp Wonton Soup, and maybe Roast Duckm or antother item. But whenever in Noodletown, I always had a bowl of that tasty soup, that no other place could make quite as good as Noodletown.



People always talk about Mario Batali and how he discovered Noodltown and told all the other chefs about it, like he was the first chef  (or cook) to discover the place and turn all the other people in the indsutry (restaurant business) about it. "Not" ! I was eating in Noodletown a full 14 years before Noodletown was ever a thought in Mr. Batali's mind. And I was a Chef too. Being in the restaurant business since I was a teenager, first as a busboy, then waiter, going to Culinary School, cooking, then I became a Sous Chef and finally Chef at Corado Restaurant and Bar Cichetti, before wising up, getting out of the kitchen and becomming a Sommelier, and one of the Top Italian Wine Guys in New York, along with Charlie Shiccilone, and Renzo Raspiacoli.

Yes I dsicovered and was eating Noodles, Pork, and Duck 14 years before Noodletown was a glimmer in the great Mario Batali's eye. 

I ate all over Chinatown, Chinese Food, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Camodian, starting in 1982. Well I ate there when I was a kid, long before the 80s, but it was in the 80s when I really started getting seriously into it, and it became a wonderful obsession.

My ex-girlfriend Dante used to eat at Nahn Thrang Vietnamese Restaurant every Sunday, and I ate too many bowls of Pho to count, long before the Pho crave that started a good 15 years after my first bowl. And the Pho back then, yep just $4.50 for a huge bowl. "Ah the Good ol Days"? Now the younger generation are opening restuarants, and charging a lot more for the food. Not happy about that, but there's still a few more reasonable places around, though little by little they disappear. Again, the good ol days. Wish we could bring them back. Anyway, I'm oh so glad that Noodlewon is back, and good as ever. Amen.

 Daniel Bellino Zwicke










Sunday, November 8, 2020

Former Batali Bastianich restaurant Otto has Closed

Where is Mario ?

You know things are bad when once very popular, former Mario Batali, Joe and Lidia
Bastianich restaurants close. This is the case with Otto Enoteca, created by Mario Batali and
partner Joe Bastianich back in 2003, another victim of Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020. It's a sad day for me, someone who loves Italian Wine and Italian Wine Bars, as to begin with, there are not that many in 
New York, and now we've lost another. I know what it's like. I myself created with my partner 
Tom T
America's 1st ever Venetian Wine (Bacaro) Bar Cichetti way back in 1998, right around the time that Joe Bastianich joined forces with rising celebrity chef Mario Batali and opened Babbo. This is were they started growing their restaurant empire. They followed Babbo with Lupa Osteria, specializing in Roman Cusisine and Italian Wine. Today Lupa is the only former Bastianich / Batali restaurants operating at this very moment 
(Novemeber 2020). Babbo has not opened and there is rabid speculation that Del Posto will not survive the Pandemic and in all likelihood will shutter it's doors permanently. Eataly remains opened.
Yes I will miss Otto. Joe and Mario set it up quite nicely, especially the bar, which though the prices were quite a bit more than most wine bars in Italy, I really liked the place. My cousin Joe and I went there on numerous occasions and had some good times there. We'd order some nice wine and have a few antipasti plates, and maybe a pasta or two. 
Anyway, as the smoke has cleared with the whole ting with Mario, and him leaving B&B Hospitality.
One would have to say Mr. Batali got out just in time. He was paid off for his share in the company which has now lost a great deal of its former total value. Who knew we were going to have a Pandemic that would change the whole world, killing people, and destroying many businesses in its wake. Otto is a victim of the Pandemic and has closed for good. Babbo has been closed and has not re-opened yet, though we suspect it will re-open one day, and most likely will not fall victim. Del Posto is another story, most feel that it will end up closing for good, though we could be wrong on this thinking. Lupa is a great restaurant and we are happy to see them open, and hopefully for a long time to go. We just got a new President, Joe Biden. We are all hoping and praying and wishing this horrible nightmare of the Covid 19 Pandemic would just go away (as Donald Trump said it would) and die. All everyone wants is to get back to normal. Well as normal as can be? We know many things will change for good, but we all want to go back to work full time and have things go the way they were going before this horrible Pandemic hit, "can we please?"
"Well Miss You"
and More ....

Saturday, January 26, 2019

My Crush on Edie Sedgwick

NOT !!!!


Read about a Restaurant Manager's crush on a girl named Edie he worked with at Mario Batali's and Joe and Lidia Bastianich's  at DEL POSTO Restaurant.

READ about Joaquin Pheonix, Michael Stipe, Sammy Haggar, Nicholas Pileggi, and Nora Ephron at Del Posto.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lucys Peach Salad



... Excerpted From Daniel Bellino-Zwicke's forthcoming book SEGRETO ITALIANO !
                                                                   Favorite Dishes & Secret Italian Recipes

My mother used to make this when I was a kid. I can remember my dad bringing home a big bushel basket of ripe summer peaches when they were in season. The basket was so big and with so many peaches that they were too much and my mom would split the peaches with the neighbors who had a large family with lots of kids. I really loved these peaches when I was a boy, and always looked forward to eating them. They were “oh so Yummy.” They still are. I had forgotten completely about the peaches and the way my mother used to make them until this past summer when I bought a few fresh peaches from my local Fruit & Vegetable guy on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village. The Peaches smelled good, nice and perfectly ripe. And it hit me! I remembered back to the days my mom used to make them, and one day specifically in our neighbors back yard. The neighbors had a couple of Geese and they were running around the yard. My mom and Mrs. Griffin sat in lawn chairs peeling peaches from the large bushel. I watched them, and watched the Geese. We ate the Peaches, and I can still taste them till this very day.


This recipe is as simple as can be. It’s only Peaches and a little sugar. No cooking! The hardest part is getting the rip peaches. Make, it and you’ll be amazed at how unbelievably tasty these peaches are. It’s great to give to kids, as a much better sweet alternative to super sugar and floured full cakes and cookies. Get the kids hooked on these peaches and tasty Watermelon and Cherries and they might not want too many cakes and cookies. They’re fine, but too many are not. Eat healthy.


12 large ripe Peaches
7 teaspoons of granulated Sugar

Wash the Peaches well. Do not peel. Cut the peaches in half, removing the pit in the center. Cut each half peach into 5 or 6 wedges each and put into a large glass or ceramic bowl that you will serve the Peach Salad from. Once all the peaches are cut up and put into the bowl, add the sugar. Mix thoroughly, then give to your guest and see how much they love it, and how amazed out how tasty and easy this wonderful little dessert is. Buon Appetito!



Stories & Recipes

Friday, May 9, 2014


Today Only  .99 CENTS
Click Below


Today Only !!!

For immediate release
New York, NY  (Greenwich Village)

Mobster Recipe Book to Hit the Shelves

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke is not afraid to spill the beans on secret sauces in his new book, SUNDAY SAUCE  “When Italian-Americans Cook.” Fans of The Godfather will be pleased to know that of the several Italian-American dishes covered in the book, the Clemenza Sunday Sauce “Gravy” made famous by Al Pacino is included.
SUNDAY SAUCE: When Italian-Americans Cook is available now in paperback and on Kindle from the Amazon store.
With more than 25 years experience as a Chef and Wine Director in some of New York’s most renowned restaurants, including; Del Posto, Barbetta, Odeon, Corrado, Daniel Bellino-Zwicke has delighted foodies and gastronomic adventurers with the book. Many of the meals that make Italian-American so famous as a food genre within its own right are there: Sausage & Peppers, Pasta Fazool (Pasta & Bean Soup), Spaghetti & Meatballs, Meatball Parm Sandwiches, Sunday Sauce aka Gravy, Mussels Marinara, and many more.
If you have ever wondered How to make Clemenza's Sauce, you’ll find the secret here, alongside recipes for Sinatra's Meatball Sunday Sauce and Mamma DiMaggio’s Sunday Gravy (Joe DiMaggio’s Mother), as well as Goodfellas Veal & Peppers.
Daniel Bellino Zwicke lives and works in New York City where he has been a wine and restaurant professional for more than 25 years. The renowned creator of Bar Cichetti "America's First Venetian Wine Bar," Daniel worked hands-on as the chef, Wine Director
and managing-partner. Daniel has also authored “La TAVOLA, The Feast of the 7 Fish,” "Italian Christmas" and “Got Any Kahlua?” “The Collected Recipes of The Dude” and he is currently working on a new cookbook, yet to be named ... Daniel is one of America's foremost authorities on the subject of Italian Wine.

Sundays are very important in Italian-American culture. It’s a time when all the family comes together to celebrate over a meal. With recipes that have become synonymous with Italian-American with entertainers and movie stars in many an epic movie over the years, the recipes included in this book will make that Sunday even more memorable.

Name:  Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

Website/Author page:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Colbert Celebrates at Carbone

Stephen Colbert

On Thompson Street


Jerry Seinfeld with David Letterman


Sunday, April 20, 2014


Is He Giving Away The SECRET ?

NOT !!!



    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 Oreganata, 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



by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke




On Lexington Avenue, New York, NY