Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hurricane Sandy Odyssey NewYork




October 2012

I'm walking up 5th Avenue, just south of the Flatiron Building in New York, the day after Hurricane Sandy hit New York around 8 PM the previous night. The storm knock-out all Electricity below 26th Street in New York, which included my apartment in Greenwich Village.

I knew they had electricity above 26th street so I went on a quest in search of  Coffee, food, and electricity to charge the batteries in my Laptop Computer, my tablet, and Cel Phone.  I thought I'd be able to fulfill these requirements at a Starbucks somewhere, but Star Bucks failed me and all of New York by not being able to pull together crews to open at least 2 or 3 of their stores in Midtown Manhattan. Starbucks Failed New York and the people of the city of NY at a time when we needed them most, during Hurricane Sandy. Satrbucks SUCKS ! And they do not have an excuse that because of the hurricane, they couldn't open any of their locations, McDonald's did, and if they did, Starbucks should have been able to and they didn't. They probably didn't even try, they Suck. I've never really liked Starbucks, and I don't support them, and this I will never forget or forgive Starbucks for not helping New Yorker's when we needed it most, during Hurricane Sandy. If McDonalds was able to open some of there locations and they did and I went to one and had a large coffee and a Black Angus Cheeseburger and used the Wifi and that really helped me out, and helped the people of New York, so once again I want to say STARBUCKS SUCK, you Failed the people of NEW YORK when we needed you most.

So anyway, I couldn't find one dam Starbucks open. Those SOBs. I did find a McDonalds and had a nice time there. Before I went to the McDonald's in midtown, I went up to The Waldorf Astoria Hotel and plopped myself down in the lobby of the Waldorf for a couple hours, hung-out,and charged my batteries and had a great time there.

I left the Waldorf and as I was walking from east to west, I came upon a McDonald's that was open, so I went in. I ordered a large Coffee and a Black Angus Cheeseburger and I was in business. I sat down and enjoyed my coffee and burger, and I was happy.

Calm Before The STORM





October 2012



Most peopel probably don't think about it, but for many of us (Millions) Coffee is one of the most important and loved things in all our lives. It's almost a necessity to many. We all must air to breath, and water, and food to survive, clothing, and the shelter of a home and roof over our heads, and after these absolute necessities to actually staying alive, to live, Coffee comes right after these things taht are an absolute must to staying alive. Yes, Coffee is an option, but the # 1 most popular, "Must Have" options to living a happy life, "We've got to have IT." We gotta have our Coffee in the morning, and thorughout the day, but we have to have tht first cup to get us going in the morning, and if we don't, we're not happy campers.

The day Hurricane Hit New York, we (New Yorker's) wanted food, shelter, we wanted Electricity, some of us had it, and some  didn't. I for one was one who didn't have electricity, and we were without it for 5 days, but I for one made due. Well, not just me, a few million of us in the New York Metropolitan area. Anyway, again, I must reiterate, Starbucks failed us on this day when they could have and should have served us well. They didn't, and for this, I say again, STARBUCKS SUCKS ! Do you hear me Starbucks? You SUCK !

So, I walked from my home in Greenwich Village. I walked up Sixth Avenue in search of Coffee, Food, and Electricity. I did find all 3 eventually, but not at Starbucks, do you know why? Starbucks Sucks, that's why. McDonalds managed to open a couple locations, but Stabucks didn't, they were all closed. Starbucks didn't serve New Yorkers coffee when they needed it more than ever, they Suck.

Anyway, I wanted to go to The Ace Hotel to get coffee and electricity, but they weren't letting anyone other than guest to go into the hotel, so I continued on looking for a Starbucks, which I found, but they were all closed, Starbucks couldn't manage to at least open a couple Starbucks, the way the McDonald's Corporation did, serving New Yorker's when they needed it most, McDonald's came through, Starbucks didn't. Starbucks SUCKS !

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Day Caffe Dante Died

Caffe Dante shut its doors yesterday, Sunday March 22. 2015 ... A very sad moment as I watched my friend of 30 years Mario Flotta pull down his pictures of the many Celebrities that have spent time at Caffe Dante over the years. I had to hold back my tears when I said goodbye to Mario and he and his  two sons Mario Jr. and Anthony locked the doors for the last time.
I said goodbye to Mario and his sons and walked around the corner to go home, knowing my second home had closed for good. One of those sad moments in life, but one one must deal with never-the -less. 
Greenwich Village Writer Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Mario Flotta Sr. at Caffe Dante on The Day of its closing, 100 Years
after opening on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village ... A Very Sad Day to say the least.
Copyright Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Yes it was quite sad day, the day my favorite caffe closed. I first started going to Caffe Dante in the Summer of 1985, after my first trip to Italy. I had passed by numerous times but never went in, for some reason the place didn't appeal to me at the time, Caffe Luca around the block on Bleecker was my spot, and I loved it. I had been going to Caffe Luca quite often for three years before I set foot in Dante for the first time. The thing that got me going to Caffe Dante was that my good friend John Lee went there almost everyday, and he loved it, so I figured I'd give it a shot, and so I did. And so I went, and I liked it,and after a while, Dante became my daytime caffe, and Luca was were I went for my night time caffe, and I did this for a few years, never going at night, but several times a week, during daytime hours, and I soon became a regular Caffe Dante, and all the Maltese waitresses knew me, and I knew them, and I got to be friendly with the owner Mario Flotta and his sons; Anthony, Peter, and Mario. The waitresses at that time were Grace and Patricia, both from Malta, there was a Moroccan girl as well, my good friends Ada and Antionetta both came from Naples, Italy about a year later in 1986.
So I'd go to Dante several times a week when I could, which were any days that I didn't work lunch at the restaurant, or I had the day off completely. And, as for Caffe Luca which I loved going to for years, and loved it, something happened. The old Italian guy *can't remember his name), sold it to the two brothers who worked there. I hate to say it, but for some reason, the water glasses started smelling like a wet mop, and it didn't stop. Som although I loved Caffe Luca, because of this, I just stopped going there. I didn't want to, but the "wet mop thing' wasn't a one-time-deal, it was constant, and because of it, I just stopped going, no more Caffe Luca. About 8 years after I stopped going to Luca, the place, sadly closed down.
So, Dante was my caffe, I went ther almost everyday for 30 years from 1985 to 2015 when my buddy Mario Flotta sold the place. Yes, Mario had become a good friend. You  don't go to a place almost every day for 30 years, and not become friends with someone. Going to Caffe Dante was like being with family. I had my Espresso, Cappuccino, and many Caffe Lattes over the years, thousands of each. Some days I went there two times in a day, and on a few occasions I'd make 3 trips in one day to Caffe Dante. The days I went twice in a day, which were many, I'd go in the morning or afternoon, and then I'd go there, meeting Jimmy S. or Jimmy B., or with Dante or Merceditas, both ex-girlfriends who I had long relationships with.
Yes many times I'd be there with friends or a girlfriend, hanging out socializing, having a good times. Going there with friends was I'd estimate somewhere between 20 to 25% of my total visits of thousands of visits over the years, the other 75 to 80% I'd go there on my own, to read and relax, or write, But I was never alone, most of the time, some of my caffe-friends were there and we'd chit chat, and converse, and one does in a cafe. Ad if none of my cafee friends were around, there was always the girls. The girls? The waitresses, some of which became friends and we'd have dinner parties together, sometimes go to Arturo's or Lomabardi's for Pizza with Rose, Tony, Ada, and Jimmy Starace. We were all friends.
Yes, I read a lot of books in Caffe Dante over the years. I read The Count of Monte Cristo at least 2 times there, biography's on Maria Callas, Aristotle Onassis, Grace Kelly, Talouse Lautrec, Picasso, Gaugin, Vasco de Gama, Christopher Columbus, Ernest Hemingway, and many more. Yes, I love biography's. Yes, I read novels s well, and I started writing, mostly essays on all sorts of things, some short stories like "Espresso at 4" about the four Italian Ladies from the neighborhood who had espresso at Caffe Dabnte at 4 PM everyday for years. These ladies were wonderful, and I'd sit there with my Cappuccino and listen to theit entertaining conversations. These ladies, you'd think could solve all the problems of the world, listening to them. And I loved there heated discussions on how to make, Meatballs, Pasta Fazool, Lasagna, Marinara Sauce, or Ragu Napoletana. Yes I loved seeing these ladies every day at Dante, and listening to their lovely little conversations about this=that-and-every-other-thing. I miss these sweet lovely Italian Ladies; Babe, JoAnn, Mary, and Maria. I miss Caffe Dante and seeing Rose (friend / waitress) and talking about food and all sorts of things with here, but mostly about food, recipes, and how to make different dishes. Rose was a dam good cook (still is).
I always said, Caffe Dante was my second home, and it was. It was the same I believe for all of the many regulars. I wrote my first book (La Tavola) in Caffe Dante. Yes I had so many good times there over the 30 years that I went there. The caffe opened in 1915, and my buddy Mario Flotta owned it for the last 44 years of its existence. Mario wanted to keep the place going, and for his sons to have the place, but they weren't interested. It sad. When Mario had his second heart attack, it took a lot out of him, and since his sons had no interest in the caffe anymore, Mario decided to call it quits, and very sadly so. 
What was Caffe Dante, New York's most authentic Italian Caffe for exactly 100 years, is now a high-price cocktail bar / restaurant. Mario sold the name, and the guy who bought it was smart, and he wanted to buy the name Dante, so now he can say that his place has been there since 1918. Yes this is true, but sadly Caffe Dante died in the year 2015. Those of us who were regulars miss the place dearly. We miss seeing each other (the regulars), we miss Mario and the girls, Ada, Antoinetta, and Rose. Well, as they say, nothing last forever, "things change," and quite sadly Dante change, it died and we miss it dearly.
Damiel Bellino Zwicke
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
by Daniel Bellino
DUE Mid APRIL 2015
In Paperback & Kindle on
All Photographs & Art Work are the Property of Daniel Bellino-Zwicke and may not be published or used without written consent.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Trump s Sloppy Tuxedo


Why did President Trump Meet with Queen Elizabeth


Does he have a Stylist ?

A Tailor ?

Or was this OFF THE RACK ?



Always REAL & Never FAKE NEWS


Keith McNally Reopens Pastis Meatpacking NewYork NY

The BAR at the New PASTIS

I stopped by tee friends and family party at Pastis the other night, and I'm happy to say, the genius that he is, Keith McNally has done a great at recreating his famed French Bistro Pastis on Gansevoort Street in New York's Meatpacking District, a neighborhood that McNally is most responsible for sparking the boom of the high-voltage neighborhood with his opening of the original Pastis Bistro back in 1999.

Before McNally opened Pastis on 9th Avenue in the Meatpacking district of NY, there were just two restaurants there, Florent which opened in 1986 and Maccerleria (2002). There were no hotels, no Apple Store, no high priced clothing boutiques. Some of the namesake business of the meatpacking district, the wholesale butchers who supply New York restaurants and meat markets with meat were still there, and some had bolted to Jersey City, like now famed butcher Pat LaFreida. Once McNally opened his French Bistro Pastis, the neighborhood exploded, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney opened boutiques in the neighborhood, night clubs opened, and slick boutique hotels were built. We now have an Apple, Soho House, The Standard Hotel and The Gansevoort, and in early June 2019 Keith McNally is reopening his beloved Bistro Pastis. Beloved that is by New Yorker's, tourist, high powered high rollers, and celebrities like; Sir Richard Branson, Bono, Sarah Jessica Parker, and many more.

I sat there with my glass of Beaujolais, happy in the fact that it was once again open, Keith's old subway tiles (in storage) were back, as was the tile floor, Zinc Bar, and all the fixtures and feel that made Pastis, well Pastis. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Keith is a Genius, and he always gets it right. He is now partnered with famed Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr who it seems should be a good fit, considering the fact that Keith is getting a bit older and recovering from a recent illness, but the man is back, and we all wish him and Pastis well.

Thanks Keith.


Besides his many famous New York City restaurants Keith McNally's restaurants are famous for having by-far The Best Fries in Town (Pomme Frites). The McNally Empire's famed French Fries were first introduced by the Late / Great Chef Patrick Clarke at The ODEON restaurant (Keith's 1st) back in 1982.



52 Gansevoort Street

Night of  Friends / Family Party

June 4, 2019

New York, NY

Meatpacking District



by Daniel Bellino Zwicke Oct. 3 , 2012


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Fabricant at NY Times Missed Mark on McNally s Genius opening PASTIS



June 4, 2019

As I go about writing about Italian Food, food, bars, and the restaurant scene New York, Italy, Paris, Asian New Orleans, and the World, it never fails to amaze me how far ahead of the curve I am as opposed to other food writers with  a greater and faster knowledge of wine, restaurants, food trends than many food writers with high profile positions. People like former NY Times food-critics; Frank Bruni, Ruth Reichl , and especially Florence Fabricant who recently wrote about the re-opening of Keith McNally's (along w/ Stephen Starr) Pastis in the Meat Packing District, which Keith McNally created, though I'm quite certain Florence Fabricant doesn't know, and never made the analogy. In her piece she states, that the new Pastis is around the corner from the original one which has been closed for 5 years (lost lease). She states that the High Line and The Whitney Museum are now in the neighborhood, but Fabricant and just about ever other food / restaurant writer / critic out there are no doubt oblivious to the fact that, not only did Keith McNally create Tribeca, but he created what has become the boom of the Meat Packing District, a neighborhood that had but two high-profile restaurants in the neighborhood, which was more or less a restaurant waste land until McNally opened Pastis back in 1999. Florent and Macceleria were the only two restaurants in the neighborhood until McNally opened Pastis. Once he did, more restaurants began to sprout, and eventually there was an explosion of what the Meat Packing District is today, the hottest restaurant, night club, boutique hotel spot in all of New York, and all because Keith McNally, the "Restaurant Genius" that he is opened Pastis on 9th Avenue, the neighborhood exploded, and the rest is history.
Unlike the original Pastis, Keith McNally has a partner in his new Pastis is the form of famed Philadelphia / NY Restaurateur Stephen Starr ... From the looks of what I saw at the party tonight, The New Pastis should be just as big of a hit as the old one. Good Luck to Keith McNally and Wishing him well.

  Daniel Bellino Zwicke

  June 4, 2019

I first wrote an article on this fact back in October of 2012. Read my piece on how Keith McNally Created The Meatpacking District (Oct. 3, 2012 NY - Foodie ) ...  


The Original PASTIS

Created by Restaurant Genius Keith McNally



The GENIUS Himself




As Many Celebrities Did    

  EATER NY Pastis Reopening ..


Friday, May 31, 2019

The History of BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS / Recipe

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 After Burgers and Pizza, these Buffalo Chicken Wings may very well be America’s 3rd most popular dish. And guess what? They’re not just American, they’re Italian American Teressa Bellissimo one night at her families Anchor Bar in Buffalo New York. Legend has it that Teressa’s son Dom was hanging out at the bar one night with his buddy’s. The guys were hungry so Mamma Bellissimo whipped up a little snack for the boys. Teressa fried up some wings, made a little hot sauce and coated the wings with them. And served them to the boys. They went nuts they loved them. They started serving them as a free at the bar for the bar customers. It was just a matter of weeks before all of Buffalo found out about these tasty wings. They became famous almost over night, whereby the Bellissimo’s stopped serving them for free at the bar and put them on the menu. The Bellissimo’s served Italian Food at their Anchor Bar, and the Italian Food was quite special. However the Bellisimo’s tasty Chicken Wings quickly out sold all the regular Italian Specialty Dishes and the Bellissimo’s Wings became the number 1 best seller on the menu. Not only that, but Teressa’s Italian-American created Chicken Wings became uber famous all over America and subsequently all over the World. That’s Italian, “Italian-American.”   RECIPE : Ingredients: 36 chicken wing pieces (one wing makes 2 pieces - the "flat" & the drum) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 6 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other) 6 tablespoons unsalted Butter or Margarine Celery Sticks 1 bottle of Blue Cheese Dressing Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut whole wings into two pieces at the joint. In a bowl toss the wings with the oil, and salt. Place into a large plastic shopping bag, and add the flour. Shake to coat evenly. Remove wings from the bag, shaking off excess flour, and spread out evenly on oiled foil-lined baking pan(s). Do not crowd. Bake for about 20 minutes, turn the wings over, and cook another 20 minutes, or until the wings are cooked through and browned. While the Wings are baking, mix all the ingre-dients for the sauce in a pan, and cook over low heat for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the Wings are cooked, remove from oven. Place wings in a large bowl and pour sauce over wings to coat. Mix thoroughly. Serve with Blue Cheese Dressing and fresh Celery Spears.


ABIDE in IT !!!






and More ...


Where it all Started.

Italian-American Teressa Bellisimo Invented Hot Chicken Wings

at The ANCHOR BAR in 1964 ..

NOTE : At the ANCHOR BAR and all over BUFFALO, what is called

BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS all over AMERICA, are not called Buffalo Chicken Wings

in Buffalo, but simply "CHICKEN WINGS"

Teressa Bellisimo


Buffalo , New York


On March 4th, 1964, Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar at the now-famous Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, NY. Late that evening, a group of Dominic’s friends arrived at the bar with ravenous appetites. Dominic asked his mother, Teressa, to prepare something for his friends to eat.
They looked like chicken wings, a part of the chicken that usually went into the stock pot for soup. Teressa had deep fried the wings and flavored them with a secret sauce. The wings were an instant hit and it didn’t take long for people to flock to the bar to experience their new taste sensation. From that evening on, Buffalo Wings became a regular part of the menu at the Anchor Bar.
The phenomenon created in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo has spread across the globe. Although many have tried to duplicate the Buffalo wing, the closely guarded secret recipe is what makes Frank & Teressa’s the proclaimed “Best Wings in the World”.

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and More ..