Showing posts with label meatballs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meatballs. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Old School Italian New York

Frank Sinatra Born 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey
Frank Spent a Lot of Time in New York
Sinatra's Favorite Italian Restaurant
STILL HERE !  West 56th Street, New York, NY
Inside the former Rocco's
Now The Most Expensive Red Sauce Joint Around
Since 1908
Above and Below
GONE !!!
A Waiter and the Famous Zebra Wallpaper at GINO'S
No Longer With Us
Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner Dine at Patsy's
Rafetto's Past Shop, Greenwich Village New York
SINCE 1906
SINCE 1927
SINCE 1904
STILL With US on Union Street, Carroll gardens, Brooklyn, New York
"The Only Place left to get a good Vasteddi (Beef Spleen Sandwich) in NY
Bleecker Street greenwich Village, NEW YORK
SINCE 1927
STILL with US !!!!
Ferdinando's Brooklyn
SINCE 1920
STILL with US !!!
Read About Italian-American New York
in Daniel Bellino's Best Selling SUNDAY SAUCE
Recipes and Stories of Italian-American New York

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Can You Get Table at RAOS ? Frankie No Says "NO" !!!!!!

FRANKIE NO Says "NO" !!!



RAO'S the historic Spanish Harlem restaurant is as elusive and alluring as ever. It's still nearly impossible to secure a seat without serious connections — but Grub tracked down thirteen people who revealed their strategies for getting in and dished on their best nights (though a few of them were so concerned about revealing their secrets that they didn't want us to use their names).
Strategy 1: Don't Take No for an Answer
"I had a business partner who was this fastidious attorney who would never take no for an answer. In 1995, someone who works for us wanted to go there for dinner. My business partner called [co-owner] Frank [Pellegrino] 500 times. Finally he said, 'Oh my God, come in. I can't take it anymore.' My partner wore him down. That first time, we became friends with everyone there. Frankie Jr. bonded with me, for some reason, and we became good friends. I was very active in the restaurant business for a long time, and I think that helped as well.
I don't have a standing table. I think in the seventeen years I've been going, I've only had legit reservations three or four times. Every other time, I just go on a Monday night, sit at the bar, and hope to get seated. I text one of the main guys to let them know and ask them to seat me. I brought my wife there on our first date fourteen years ago. She was definitely impressed.
I once had a great encounter with Johnny 'Roastbeef' [a character actor best known for his small role in Goodfellas]. We were at the bar, and, all of a sudden, the theme from Cats comes on. Johnny put his glass down hard, and he said, 'Every time I hear this song, all I want to do is eat pussy.' Without missing a beat, the woman next to him, who was in her sixties, asked, 'Does anyone know where I can get the CD really quickly?' I started laughing, and the bartender said that I couldn't laugh. We didn't know if it was a joke. I've seen amazing things there. A guy who had just gotten out of the slammer after twenty years showed up to celebrate, wearing clothes from twenty years ago: a skintight black sleeveless shirt and tight jeans." —Anonymous
Strategy 2: Be Eddie Huang
"I went the first time with Zach Chodorow with his girl and some other girl. Zach has friends that have a standing table. In the winter, they go away, and I hit him up. It was cool. We had a good time. They definitely have the best meatballs in the city. You go for the environment. You walk in, you walk out, and there's no better entrance to a restaurant. I take a Town Car, whatever. You walk into a movie. 
The second time, it was my girl's birthday, and it was right after Hurricane Sandy. She's an Italian girl who lived in Harlem and had never gone, so I said, 'I gotta take you.' We went on November 4. I talked to Nicky the Vest at the bar, and he said he recognized me. I was like, 'You don't get many Chinese people in here?' He said, 'Why don't I get you a table?' Then Frank comes over and said, 'Welcome back. If I have a table available, do you want to sit down and have dinner?' Absolutely! We had dinner. It was the best birthday she ever had. You wish more people with that passion and that character were opening restaurants in New York.
But if you just want to just try the food, go to Vegas. That's where my first Rao's experience was, and I actually like Uncle Vincent's chicken and the on-the-bone veal Parmesan better there. You can just walk into the Vegas location: It's a twenty-minute wait, tops. You know how people say things just based on what sounds good? The fact of the matter is that the food is better in Vegas. But the Rao's in Harlem is a New York institution. The moment you see it, you know why. It's got that swag." —Eddie Huang, Baohaus chef and soon-to-be television star
Strategy 3: Shower the Pellegrino Family With Gifts
"I used to work for an Academy Award–winning actor. It opened up a lot of doors in New York, but it never got me a table at Rao's ... until the actor's executive assistant tracked down a member of the Pellegrino family and showered her with gifts: flowers, spa gift cards, and movie-premiere invitations. That's how I scored my first reservation. I took my best friend, who'd also been trying (and failing) to get a table for many years. We feasted like kings. After dessert, the bartender asked us if we wanted a final drink 'with Frank.' Of course we said yes to this. The drink was served, but we didn't touch it. We wanted to wait for Frank to join us, but an hour later, he still hadn't come by our table. Eventually, the other tables emptied out. Rao's was closing, and we realized that the drink wason Frank, not with him. Embarrassed, we quickly paid and departed.
More recently, I was able to get another reservation. A woman I knew was friends with Johnny 'Roastbeef.' Turns out knowing Mr. Roastbeef is a much better connection than any award-winning movie star because we landed the best table and had multiple drinks with Frank." —Anonymous

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






Saturday, March 8, 2014




   The Meatball Parm Sandwich, as stated earlier, the Meatball Parm is one of thee Italian-American males most treasured things in life.  Things he needs to live a happy, normal, satisfying life, and an actual necessity for true Happiness. It’s right up there with Mom, Grandma, Sausages and Sunday Sauce. We ask not for much!
    No you do not have to be a Man or a Boy to eat one. Ladies and Girls eat them as well.  It’s just that the male of the species happens to Eat 5 Times the amount that Italian-American Women do. Not only that, but the male of the species holds Meatballs and Meatball Parms in much Greater Reverence, than do the females. They “Exalt” it, as the Meatball Parm, it deserves such adulation.  The men and boys adore it and get quite excited at the prospect and act of eating one, the “Meatball Parm.” And ladies who make them, know how much it is loved, cherished even.
    Yes Italian-American ladies and girls like this thing called the Meatball Parm too, but they  don’t get quite as excited about this sandwich as the males do.  Meatball Parms are held  quite dear  to Italian  men. Yes, it’s a guy thing, and more specifically, an Italian Guy thing. Yes, Italian-American males have given the Meatball Parm Iconic Status within our lives and realm of food. Why? We’re Italian, that’s all.
     The Great Ritual of the Meatball Parm Monday and it ties to the Sunday Sauce. You make the Meatballs for the Sauce, The “Gravy.” On Saturday you will buy all the meat, the Sausages and the rest of the ingredients for your Sunday Sauce (Gravy) to be made on Sunday.  However, on Saturday you are already thinking about  those Meatball Parms for Monday’s lunch.
   Yes Meatball Parms on Monday, following the previous days Sunday Sauce. You see, you have to think ahead.  Every good Italian knows that when you go through all the effort and time it will take to make a  pot  of  Sunday Sauce,  that you don’t just make it  for  Sunday’s consumption alone. No, that would be a waste of time to make just enough to eat on Sunday. It takes  time, effort,  energy,  and work to make  a  Sunday Sauce,  which  of course  is well worth it. You do not mind the work involved at all, for in the end, the “Rewards are Great.”A Sunday Sauce will yield, the beloved Sausages,  Gravy,  Braciole, succulent Ribs,  and Meatballs for Monday’s Meatball Parms.
    It does not really take much more time to make a larger quantity in order to have leftovers for the next day or two, and this is just what one wants to do, is to keep  the sauce going,  and going  for  another day, even two.  And in those leftovers are the much Prized at Monday’s Lunch for, of course “Meatball Parms.”  Yes, the men love and need Meatball Parms on Monday,  for the Ritual  of the Meatball Parms of Monday  is  “Time-Honored” and enjoyed by many. As the saying goes, “The Simple Pleasure of Life,” here it is quite apropos.
    So, you see, on Saturday when one goes to buy the ingredients to make the Gravy, they automatically  know to make sure they get  enough  ground meat to make plenty of  Meatballs that will last the  Sunday  Supper  as well  as yielding numerous left-overs for Monday’s Meatball Parms for Monday. The men, methodically make sure that there are enough leftover Meatballs for Monday’s lunch. When all are finished eating the great “Sauce” on Sunday, they set some Meatballs aside for the next days Meatball  Sandwiches. These sandwiches will make a dreaded Monday so much better. Think about?
    And if there are leftover Sausages? On Tuesday one can make Spaghetti with Sauce and Sausages, or even a Sausage Sandwich.  Think ahead boys and girls, and Mangia Bene!”

by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

Excerpt from SUNDAY SAUCE

SUNDAY SAUCE is Available in Paperback and Kindle Editions on