Monday, February 16, 2015

Caffe Dante Closing After 100 Years

MY BELOVED CAFFE DANTE to CLOSE
Yes I'm afraid it's most likely true, my beloved Caffe Dante to close this month (February 2015) after 100 years in business in New York's Greenwich Village. It's rumored that Mario Flotta the long time owner of Caffe Dante will be selling the caffe to a Australian Corporation and it was reported on 1010 WINS Radio News this morning that Dante will be shuttering its doors in 10 days time. This is very sad, especially for me and longtime regulars who have been going to Caffe Dante for 10, 20, 30, and even 40 years for New York's most authentic Espresso and cups of Cappuccino. I myself have been going there since the Summer of 1985 when I came back from my first trip wonderful trip of many to my ancestral homeland of Italy .. As i've been going to Caffe Dante almost evry single day siance 85, I've become good friends with the Flotta Family over the years especially Mario Sr. who is almost like a second father to me.
This is such sad news, and all I can say is something I know that most do not, is that Mario bought a building around the corner on Bleecker Street for just such a situation. That being that the landlord would one day raise his rent beyond reason (the Landlord did in 2013), and Mario would just pack up his caffe and move it around the corner. Mario is Caffe Dante, his loves the place like one of his own children, and I know this is the reason he bought the building on Bleedker. Mario told me himself what he would do, and he always wanted the Caffe to continue and for there to be a place for Caffe Dante for his sons, Mario Jr., Anthony, and Peter.
I hope everything all works out, I love Caffe Dante more than I can ever express, it's without question my second home, and a Greenwich Village without this wonderful Caffe would be that much less of the Greenwich Village that we residients, visitors and tourist from around the country and around the World know.
 
 
 
Story & Photos by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tre Bicchieri New York 2015

Yes Italian Wine mavens. It's that time of the year again. Wow, another year gone by. It's the 2012 Tre Bicchieri Tasting New York, the years most prestigious Italian Wine Event of all. It is this friday February 17 at the Metropolitan Pavillion on West 18th Street and if you don't have an invite or in, forget about getting in. Security is tight at this one, sponsored by Gambero Rosso the Wine Spectator/Robert Parker of Italy and Italian Food and Wine all rolled into one. What is Tre Biccieri? Well first off it translates to Three Glasses., and this is the system for rating the top wines in Italy by the famed Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri Italian Wine Guide compile and published each year by Gamabero Rosso Publications. Italy's top wines are here. Gambero Rosso rates the wines on a 1, 2, and 3 glass system as opposed to others like Robert Parker and WIne Spectator which uses a 100 Point System. So at the Tre Bicchieri Tasting, all of the Tre Bicchieri (3 Glass Wines) Wines will be on hand.    For an Italian Wine Guy like me, this is my favorite event of the year and although I love and enjoy all the great wines, it's actually more of a social event for me. I get to see my many friends from Italy, winemakers, but mostly the proprietors of the many wine estates on hand. It's just great!    Needless to say there are going to be many great wines on hand including; Sassicaia 2008, Turiga 2007, Donnafugat "Ben Rye" 2009 from good friend Antonio Rallo, Barolo "Monfortino" Riserva 2004 from Giacomo Conterno (Considered by many Thee Top Dog of All Barolo), Vietti Barolo Villero Riserva 2004, Mastroberadino Taurasi Radici 2007,  Rosso del Conte Tasc d'Almerita 2007 from good friend Conte Giuseppe Tasca, Masi Amrone "Vaio" 2006, Planeta's "Plumbago" (Nero d'Avola), and many more. To many to mention here. Yes a lot of great wines, looking forward to tasting as many as I can, but even more so, seeing the many friends who make these wines, especially, Francesca Planeta, Sebastiano Rosa of Sassicaia fame, Merielisa Allegrini, Antonio Rallo, Giampaulo Venical with his great Sauvignon Blanc "Ronco de Mele," Rafaella Bologna with her renowned Barbera "Bricco dell' Uccellone 2009 and many more.As always, this is going to be a great event, Great Wines and Great Friends from the whole of Thee Italian Peninsular. Can't wait!
SEBASTIANO ROSA (Winemaker SASSICAIA)
with
DANIEL BELLINO-ZWICKE (Author)
and
GIOVANNI FOLNARI (Proprietor NOZZOLE in Greve)
at
TRE BICCHIERI  - New York
 
 
 
TRE BICCHIERI  WORLD TOUR
 
NEW YORK
 
 
 
Will be attending the Gambero Rosso TRE BICCHIERI Tasting in New York tomorrow. Tthat goes without saying, as this is the single most important Tasting of the year for anyone into Italian Wine, as am I .. Did The Brunello Tasting 2 weeks ago, the 2nd most important tasting of the year .. I always look forward to both these tasting, and the tre Bicchieri Tasting in New York tomorrow is no exception ... 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
La TAVOLA
 
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
"IT'S NEW YORK ITALIAN" !!!
 
MANGIA BENE !!!
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY SAUCE
 
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
WHEN ITALIAN-AMERICANS COOK
 
Available on AMAZON.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On BRUNELLO

BRUNELLO Di MONTALCINO  
 
Vines of Brunello in Montalcino
 
Brunello di Montalcino is a robust Italian red wine grape produced in vineyards in and around the town of Montalcino, about 120 km south of Florence in Tuscany.
The word Brunello is derived from the Italian masculine form Bruno, which means “brown.” 
 
BRUNELLO FACTS
1. The origins of Brunello di Montalcino can be traced back as far as the 14th century. A red wine praised by the nobles of Tuscany as the “best wine in Tuscany,” Brunello is considered the youngest of Italy’s prestigious wines.
2. Brunello is made from 100% Sangiovese Grapes, also know as Brunello .
3. Originally, in Montalcino, it was believed that Brunello was a single individual grape grown just in that region. Extensive study was done in 1879 by the Province of Siena’s Amphelographic Commission and concluded that it was in fact a particular clone of the Sangiovese grape.
In 1888, Ferruccio Biondi-Santi bottled and formally named the first Brunello di Montalcino. Biondi-Santi is also credited with isolating the superior Sangiovese clone found only in the Montalcino wine region.
4. By WW II, Brunello developed a reputation for being one of Italy’s rarest and most expensive wines. More producers wanted in on the action.
By 1960 there were 11 producers following Biondi-Santi’s success. Brunello evolved into a designation of wines made with 100% Sangiovese grapes. In 1968, Brunello di Montalcino is awarded DOC status.
BRUNELLO
aka SANGOVESE
ON THE VINE in MONTALCINO
5. By 1980, there are 53 Brunello di Montalcino producers and the wine was awarded the higher level DOCG status.
Today, there are 200 producers of Brunello di Montalcino in Italy and it remains one of Italy’s best known and most expensive wines.
Climate has the most influence on the deep characteristics of Brunello di Montalcino. Montalcino sits south of Florence and enjoys warmer, drier growing seasons than that of the other popular Tuscan Sangiovese region Chianti. It is the driest of all Tuscan DOCG zones.
Cool, south-west maritime breezes also help ventilate late afternoon warmth and bring cooler nights. Sunshine on the northern and southern facing slopes are used to full advantage creating earlier or later ripening as desired.
The particular isolated superior Sangiovese clone unique to Montalcino region imparts distinct characteristics in Brunello di Montalcino. Aromas include blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, leather, chocolate and violets. Perhaps fleshier in taste than Chianti.
Brunello di Montalcino producers divide their production into two categories: normale or riserva. By DOCG law, Brunello di Montalcino must be aged longer than the majority of Italian wines.
Normale requires 4 years, two of which must be in oak. Five years of aging are required for riserva Brunello di Montalcino, 2.5 years of which must be in oak.
The kinds of oak varies. Traditionalists will use the large old Slovanian oak casks that don’t impart significant character to the wine.
Modern producers will use smaller French barriques that give more structure and vanilla, but require some management of overwhelming characteristics of oak and vanilla by the winemaker.
Fun fact: 1 out of 3 bottles of wine sold in the United States is Brunello di Montalcino, mostly in restaurants.
Brunello di Montalcino food pairing with grilled meats and game.
 
My Favorite BRUNELLO
 
Fattoria di Barbi
 
 
 
AnothER FAVORITE BRUNELLO
 
 
Me & Conti Francesco Cinzano
at DeGrezia, New York
 
Francesco Tasted Me on All His Current Vintage Wines
Including Rosso di Montalcino
His Awesome RISERVE BRUENLLO Con VENTO
and
MOSCADELLO di MONTALCINO
 
 
 
COL D'ORCIA BRUNELLO Di MONTALCINO
 
 
 
 
Me & My Buddy
 
MARCHESE FERDINANDO FRESCOBALDI
 
with Author ITALIAN NEW YORK WINE GUY Daniel Bellino Zwicke
in
NEW YORK
 
 
 
WHEN ITALIAN-AMERICANS COOK
 
 
SUNDAY SAUCE
 
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
 
 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

BABE RUTH Ate HOT DOGS & Drank BEER at RUTTS HUT

 
DID YOU KNOW ???
The BAMBINO
 
BABE RUTH
 
EATING a HOT DOG
 
 
 
RIPPERS Are DEEP FRIED HOT DOGS
 
at RUTT'S HUT
 
Clifton NEW JERSEY
 
 
 
RUTT'S HUT
 
"HOME of THE RIPPER"
 
 
THE BAMBINO
 
 
THE BABE BELTS ONE OUT of THE PARK
 
1 of 714 LIFETIME HOMERUNS
 
for
 
THE SULTAN of SWAT
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

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


FRANKIE NO Says "NO" !!!

FRANK PELLIGRINO Sr.

RAO'S OWNER


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

What Do You Call a Submarine Sandwich

 
YOUARE WHAT YOU EAT
YOU ARE WHERE YOU EAT
 
WHAT DO YOU CALL a SUBMARINE SANDWICH ???
 
A HOAGIE ???
 
A HERO ???
 
A SUB ???
 
A GRINDER ???
 
 
A PO BOY ???
 
NEW ORLEANS
 
LOUISIANA
 
The GULF COAST
 
 
 
YOU CALL IT A HOAGIE?
 
YOUR'RE FROM PHILLY or SOUTH JERSEY
 
THE HOAGIE
 
Of PHILADELPHIA
 
Which Spread to NEW JERSEY
 
SOUTH JERSEY ONLY
 
 
 
 
UP NORTH
NORTH JERSEY
 
IT'S a HERO SUB or SUBMARINE
 
 
 
CLASSIC SUBMARINE SANDWICH
 
 
 
THE GRINDER
 
 
IF YOU SAY GRINDER, YOU'RE From NEW ENGLAND
 
or
 
THE MID WEST
 
 
You CALL IT a TORPEDO
 
 
"YOU CALL It a TORPEDO"
 
 
YOUR'RE From The TRI-STATE Area of NEW YORK,
NEW JERSEY, and CONNETTICUT
 
In JERSEY People Call The ICONIC SUBMARINE SANDWICH
a "SUB" SUBMARINE, HERO, and Yes "TORPEDO"
 
They USE ALL THESE NAMES, But MOST Often It's a "SUB"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

NEW YORK BEST COFFEE

NEW YORKS BEST COFFEE 
JAMAICAN BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE
at
MISS LILLY'S
 
GREENWICH VILLAGE
 
NEW YORK
 
 
NEW YORK'S BEST COFFEE
 
Only $2.50 a CUP
 
"For JAMAICAN BLUE MOUNTAIN, That's SUPPER CHEAP"
 
&
 
The BEST COFFEE DEAL in TOWN
 
 
At
MELVIN'S JUICE BOX
 
MELVIN
 
Mis Lilly's
 
 
 
JAMAICAN
BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE
 
The WORLD'S BEST
 
The BLUE MOUNTAINS
of
JAMAICA
Where The Worlds Best COffee is Grown
 
 
 
MELVIN'S JUICE BOX
 
BEST JUICE BAR
in 
NEW YORK
 
 
 
 
 
    THE BIG LEBOWSKI COOKBOOK