Thursday, July 31, 2008

KEITH RICHARDS LIKES IT !!! Artichoke Pizza




"Artichoke Basille's Pizza Taste Like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup"


Well, I finally made it over to Artichoke Pizza. I wanted to like it, "I really did." I sorry to report, It's on par with Chicago Deep Dish, Mediocre to Good at Best. Just as Chicago Deep Dish "Artichoke Pizza can't hold a candle to the Best of New York, places like Tottono's, John's, Lombardi's, and Patsy's. These places make some of the best Pizza in the "World" Forget about these places, "Artichoke Pizza" is inferior to most "Runof the Mill" Pizza Parlors. The Pizza is very flawed. First off, the crust is awful, way to dense as it is not "proofed" long enough and feels like a ball of lead.

I arrive there, and sure enough, there was a line. The place looked pretty cool, "Nice Decor." I was excited and hoping for the best, like a reaally good to great slice of Pizza. Unfortunately, I was highly disapointed. I waited about ten minutes and got my slice, "The Artichoke." Man it was big. It looked really impressive. If found a place to sit on the "Stoop" of the building next door and bit in.

What a "Suprise." I couldn't beleive it. "It tasted "EXactly like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup," something I Loved, but handn't tasted in years, "Cream of Mushroom Soup." If nothing else, "Artichoke Pizza" brought back memories of my childhood.

I have to say, I know these guys are trying hard, but this Pizza Just Can't Cut the Mustard. It's mediocre, and I've got to say, "These Guys are Lucky as Hell to be putting out just a fair product, and making a small fortune doing it.

FACTS ABOUT "Artichoke Basille Pizza" Americans and Keith Richards

1) the "Artichoke Slice" taste like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
2) Keith Richards likes it. "We Love Kieth, but what does he know about Pizza?"
3) Many people like "Artichoke Pizza" In fact many Love it.
4) Many Americans also like such awful garbage like; "Hip Hop," Soup Operas, and
Sitcoms. That doesn't make them good.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Old New York in its Old Time Bars

I guess many have gone by the wayside but you are still able to find "old New York" in a few wonderfully preserved Old Bars. Mostly all of these wonderful Landmark establishments are below 23 rd Street. The "Landmark Tavern" standing on the corner of 46th Street and 11th Avenue is the one exception.

"Pete's Tavern" in Gramercy Park on the Corner of Irving Place (street named after resident
Washington Irving) and 18th Street claims to be the longest continually running bar in New York. They opened their doors in 1864 and have been serving liquor ever since to this very day. They did not even stop during Prohibition as they were a Speakeasy disguised as a Flower Shop.

"Fanelli's Cafe" on the corner of Prince and Mercer Streets in Soho claims that they have been serving food and liquor since 1847

McSorley's Ale House has been operating at 15 East 7th Street since 1854. There are just two options of things to drink here, McSorley's Light or Dark Ale of which they have served the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and John Lennon. They make great Liverwurst and Onion Sandwiches and you can get a nice plate of Grafton Cheddar Cheese served with Saltines and Hot Irish Kustard (Mustard).

"Peter McManus" on the corner of 7th Avenue and 19th Street in Chelsea is often overllooked when it comes to great old New York Bars. The decor is old and as well preserved as any of the others. they make good burgers and Cheese Steak Sandwiches.

The "White Horse Tavern" at 567 Hudson Street is a old Greenwich Village favorite that since they opened their doors in 1880 has served Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, and Dylan Thomas who after drinking a "Record" 18 Whiskies, was rushed to St. Vincents Hospital where he died from Alcohol Poisoning. "Yes he drank himself to death."

The "Old Town Bar" has been operating at 45 East 18th Street since 1892 and had Teddy Roosevelt who lived just a few blocks away as a regular.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Raoul's" New York's Best Bistro


Raoul's, "COOL"

Best Cool French Bistro in New York

When it comes to Bistros in New York City, there is one that stands alone. No other can touch it. "Raoul's" on Prince Street in Soho is far and above any other Bistro in all of New York. The total combined elements of Ambiance, Food, Music, Service, and combined Vibe, just can't be beat. Raoul's is just plain "Cool." They serve some of the best Foe Gras in the city, along with a famous "Steak au Poive" and other Bistro Classics, along with the cool well-worn decor and the a great blend of music like; The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Edith Piaf, and Best of All, "No Hip Hop."

At "Raoul's" they know what they are doing. They should, they've been doing it for some 30 years, and the way the do things, we're sure they'll be around for a long time to come.

RAOUL'S 180 Prince Street, Soho NY, NY (212)966-3518 www.raouls.com

Pricing: on the Expensive Side

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

$1.00a Slice Pizza on St. Marks




Sign in front of 2 Bros. Pizza, 32 St. Marks Place, "Inflation Fighters" $1.00 a Slice or 2 Slices and a Soda for just $2.75 "How can you beat That?"
A 2 Bros. Pizza $1.00 slice.

$1.00 a Slice Pizza On St. Marks Place Makes a Big Splash

2 Bros. Pizza on St. Marks Place is making a big splash in the East Village. At a $1.00 a slice, you'd have to go back to the mid-80's to get Pizza this cheap.
People Love it. Almost everybody you ask will admit that it's no Lombardi's, John's or Tottono's. What it is, is a pretty good slice, and at $1.00 a slice it just can't be beat. It's not great, but many have had to take a shot for just a "Buck" per slice you just got to try it at least once. Almost everyone poled liked it and said that it taste much better than they thought it would. As one guy put it, it's pretty dam good, far superior to commercial Pizza like Domino's, Papa Johns, or Pizzahut, and at just $1.00 a slice and $2.75 for 2 slices and a soda, a great inflation fighter.

Several people surveyed said, "It's just the ticket when your drunk and out drinking in the East Village." But you don't have to be drunk to like it. It even taste good when you're sober, and the price is oh so sweet.

Looks like we have an "Institution" in the making.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

DUMPLING HOUSES of the Lower East Side






99 Allen Pork Dumpling (the 1st to start the Dumpling House trend)

An order of Fried Pork Dumplings at "Vanessa's Dumpling House and Vanessa's
and


"Prosperity Dumpling" the Best Kept Secret of the Lot. Shaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!"

New York's Best Cheap Eats Deal, Pork Dumplings $1.00

Know what New York's Best Cheap Eats Deal is? No, it's not "Grays Papaya" 2 Hotdogs and a Fruit Drink for $3.50, we love "Grays" and yes it is a Great Deal, but it just can't beat 5 tasty Hand-Made Pork Dumplings for just a "Buck." No it can't. This is an even better deal than the Great Cheap Street Eats in South East Asia. I have eaten all over Asia, and the Street-Food just can't be beat or it"Excellence and Variety," but if you consider that you get a great Dish for just about $1.00 allover Asia; Bangkok, Saigon, Phuket, Cambodia, all over. The food that you get is just amazing! But if you consider that New Yorkers make an average of 10 times as much as the average South East Asian and you can get an order of Pork Dumplings on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for the same amount of money you pay for a portion of Street Food in
South East Asia, then maybe the 5 Pork Dumplings on the Lower East Side isn't just the Best Food Deal in New York, but the World!




An Order of Tasty Pork Dumplings
Now (2013) 5 for $1.25
Still New York's Best Food Bargain
And The World


99 Allen Fried Dumpling was the first to start the Dumpling House Trend. Then came No. 1 Dumpling (now called Vanessa Dumpling House) and caught on like "Gangbusters" packed day and night. They never stop. In a tiny little shop, and you used to always have to wait to get an order or two. One order is enough as a in-between meal, and two orders is enough to make a complete meal that will fill you at just $2.00
No. 1 Dumpling built up some great business, packed 24/7. They had a tiny little shop and decide to expand, doubling in size to make a little dining room enough to hold about 20 people as opposed to the former narrow 3 foot wide space between wall and counter and a small counter to accommodate about 5 people. They mad the place a "Fancier" compared to what it used to be.
They didn't raise the "price" of the Dumplings but they did what the Candy Bar Companies used to do, keeping the price the same, but making the portion size a little smaller. "Yes, they kept the price at $1.00, but instead of giving you 5 Pork Dumplings like before, they cut the portion size down to 4 Dumplings for $1.00" Yes, still a Great Deal (inflation). They also raised the price of the Sesame Pancake with Beef from $1.50 to $2.00. "Yes, still a great deal.
They have added a "Peking Duck Sesame Pancake" that's yummy and a Bargain at just $2.25

Most of the hoards of people who pack into "Vanessa's Dumpling House' and wait on line, have no idea that just 2 blocks south is another great alternative to Vanessa's. It's "Prosperity Dumpling House" at 46 Eldridge Street and it's never packed. Even more important is that the "Dumplings" are just as good as the ones at Vanessa's. To top it off, you get 5 Dumplings whereby Vanessa's gives you Four, and the Sesame Pancake with Beef is $1.50 to Vanessa's $2.00
Hey, I don't want to "Split hairs" but these things mean a lot to some people out there. I'm just reporting.

So, for just $3.50, you can get a great meal of Fried pork Dumplings and a tasty Sesame Pancake w/Beef sandwich. you can't beat that. And if you want to "Splurge" on desert, you can go to one of several Chinese Bakery Cafes on Grand Street between Allen and Eldridge and have a coffee and a pastry for just $2.00 That's just $5.50 for a meal followed by coffee and desert.
That's what we call a "Cheap Date," but the quality is just as good as if you paid $100.00 a head or more. Check it out.



Daniel Bellino Zwicke


photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Pope of Greewich Village





The Pope of Greenwich Village. A wonderful Movie, and favorite of many, especially if you live in The Village and are Italian-American as I. Mickey Rourke and
Eric Roberts both turned in wonderful performances and this Movie is the Best Loved role for most of their fans. Burt Young was great as "Bed Bug Eddie" and Geraldine Ferrara was magnificient as crooked cop "Bunky's" alcholic Irish Mom. Frank Vincent had a small part. He cut off Paulie's (Eric Roberts) thumb.
"He took my thumb Charlie!!!!! I didn't wanna give up the poor bastard, but it was my Life Man," (Paulie to cousin Charlie) And Tony Musante who was Paulie's Uncle Pete and one of Beg Bug's soldiers.
What ever happened to Tony Musante. He was Great.

P.S. Great Theme Song, "The Summer Wind" sung by none other than the incomparable Frank Sinatra

To see a Great Trailer of "The Pope of Greenwich Village" and Mickey, Eric, and Tony click this Link>>>>>>>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oumCO3mOxsU

Monday, July 7, 2008

New York's Best Dogs




Best Dogs in New York! Who has them? Crif Dogs, Gray's Papaya, Nathan's?

Had a Crif Dog at Crif's Dogs on St. Marks Place today. Man it was good! Dressed with mustard and Sauerkraut. "Classic." Who has the Best Hotdog in Newyork? I don't know. I Love all three of these babys.

Friday, July 4, 2008

check out NEW YORK on $10 $20 $30 or $40 a DAY

http://newyork-on-10-20-dollarsa-day.blogspot.com/

CHIANTI CLASSICO TASTING NEW YORK 2008









The Barone Ricasoli with a bottle of his famed Chianti. it was his Great great Granfather who originaly formulated Chianti more than 130 years ago.(Top Left)

(Top Right) Conti Sebastiani Capponi with
Daniel Bellino Zwicke and Joe Macari Jr.

(Bottom) Castel Vicchomaggio in Greve as
seen from the apartment of our Terrazzo
on the Estate of Castello Verazzano, Greve




CHIANTI CLASSICO TASTING 2008


On Monday , April 21st 2008 the greatly anticipated Chianti Classic Tasting was held at 583 Park Avenue. Hosted by the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, which is a Consortium of Professionals who are made up of Wine Producers (Proprietors and Winemakers) of the wine Chianti Classico. This group is not a Governmental Body but a private group of individuals that was created in 1924 to define the area of Chianti Classico and its wines, also called Chianti Classico and the manner and guidelines of how the wine was to be made and the parameters of what constitutes a Chianti Classico. Yes the name of the zone and the wine are the same, “Chianti Classico,’and the wine was actually name after the zone.
When the Consozvio Vino Chianti Classico was created in 1924, there did not exist any governmental bodies that now do to set guidelines and laws to which wines have to adhere to all over Italy.This is why the consorzio was created in the first place, in order to define which area was the “Classico” area and to maintain quality and consistency.
This Grand tasting held in New York on April 21, 2008 by the Chianti Consorzio was personally hosted by the President of the Consorzio, Marco Pallanti who is also the Enologist and proprietor along with Lorenza of the renowned estate of the
Castelo Di Ama in Gaiole in Chianti. As for myself, if feel that the wines of
Castelo Di Ama are overrated, grossly overpriced, and not worth the money. I actually have personally monikered the the “Gaja of Chianti” of Angelo Gaja and his wines, which are highly overrated and even more grossly overpriced, but that is all for another discussion.
Along with Dr. Pallanti the event was also hosted by esteemed Sommelier and wine writer David Lynch, who co-authored one of the Italian Wine Worlds most renowned books on the subject of Italian Wine, Vino Italiano along with Joseph Bastianich.
The tasting was made up of 40 producers of Chianti Classico of which there were over 150 different Chianti offered for tasting. The Chianti presented were both
Chianti Normale (base Chianti) and Chianti Riserva and the vintages ranged from 2001 to 2006.
Note that “Chianti Normale” or base Chianti does not infer that these Chianti are of a lesser quality. The styles are different and the base Chianti are to me and many others, actually more the true and traditional of Chianti as the weight is lighter more correct and less concentrated than the weight (body) of Chianti Reserva.
As with many subjects there is debate and differences of and agreement of what is true traditional Chianti is and what is not. I as a Wine Professional of many years who has focused mainly on Italian Wine and a great lover of Chianti and a traditionalist at heart, of course I am of the Old-School Traditional Chianti. I do feel that the laws of the Chianti Consorzio are not correct and are not for the Great Tradition of Chianti in that the wine Chianti when created by the Baron Ricasoli almost 150 years ago was created as a wine made up as a blend of local grapes that was dominated by Sangiovese as its main grape and that Sangiovese was to be the primary grape of Chianti and to give it its special character along with small percentages of other local blending grapes such as Cannaiolo, Colorino, Trebbiano, Ceiligiolo, Malvasia Nera, and Mammolo.
I feel, as do other respected authorities on Italian Wine, such as one of my esteemed peers Charles Scicilnoe feel that the Italian Government and Chianti Consorzio are by allowing Cabernet, Merlot, and Syhrah into Chianti, are ruining this “Great Wine” Chianti and its great traditions.
Just a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot in what is allowed to be Chianti, completely changes the feel and taste of Chianti and what, according to tradition it should be.
“It’s not Chianti anymore!” Not it if has the slightest trace of Cabernet or Merlot, and traditionalist like myself, Charles Scicilone and others will not cease our Crusade until the day that the Italian Government and Chianti Consorzio come to their sense and completely eliminate Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, or any non-native grape variety from ever entering Chianti again.” We wait patiently, but why is it taking these people so long to act. They ruin one of their own National Treasures and every year that these grapes that are not of Chianti Classico, is another bad vintage for any producer that uses them.
Let’s note that although the sacrilege of allowing Cabernet, Merlot, and others into Chianti, it is not mandatory and is at each individual producers (Wine Estate) choice whether to put these grapes in their wine or to leave them out and thus make “Real,”
True, Traditional Chianti. There are a number of Estates that make real true Chianti devoid of any trace what so ever, of the dreaded Cabernet or Merlot. Some of these estate are; Castello Volpaia, Castello Verazzno, Monsanto, Castello Querceto, and
Castel Vicchomaggio to name a few. These estates are to be highly commended and there should be more. If all the producers in Chianti had enough pride, non would ever permit a bottle of wine that they label be called Chianti if it has Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot or any non-native grapes in it. Hey if you have acres of Cabernet or Merlot planted on your estate and want to use them, “Fine.” Just don’t call the wine Chianti! Classify it as IGT and call it “Super Tuscan,” it’s OK by me, “Just don’t call it Chianti!”
If you want to make a wine and call it Chianti, make sure it is a blend. A wine that is made of 100% Sangiovese is allowed to be called Chianti, though it should not. As per the original Chianti Recipe, Chianti is always a blend, made primarily of Sangiovese with other native grape varieties such as; Mammolo, Cannaiolo, Malvasia Nera, Trebbiano, and Colorino and Chinati should always be made with mostly Sangiovese with other minor blending grapes. It should never be made solely of Sangiovese (though according to the Government it can, but what does the Gov’t. know?) but have at least one or more other native grapes, even if it’s just 2 or 3%, there “Must” be at least one other native grape varietal accompanying the Sangiovese, it should not stand alone. This must be changed in order to make true Traditional Chianti.



Daniel Bellino Zwicke April 2008


Some of our Favorites of the Chainti Classico Tatsing 2008 were:

CHIANTI CLASSICO, VILLA CALCINAI 2004 from Conti Capponi in Greve
CHIANT CLASSICO, CASTELLO BROLIO 2001 from the Brone Ricasole Gaiole

CHIANTI CLASSICO RIS. ROCCA GUICCIARDO, CASTELLO BROLIO 2005

CHIANTI CLASSICO, FONTERUTOLI 2005 from Marchese Mazzei, Castellina

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Donata Venturini Hosts LAMBRUSCO DINNER at DeL POSTO



MARIO BATALI slurps SPAGHETTI with Joe Bastianich as Mom Lidia looks on at Del Posto in Chelsea

Leonardo Locasio of Winebow with Marelisa Allegrini (Great AMARONE producer) with Sommelier DANIEL BELLINO ZWICKE at Wine Tasting downtown New York



Butcher at ALBANESE MEAT MARKET(Italian Butcher)











DONATA VENTURINI HOSTED WINE DINNER at DEL POSTO


Monday June 30, 2008. Donata Venturini of the Emilia Romagnan wine estate Baldini Venturini hosted a Lambrusco/ Emilia Romagnan wine dinner at Del Posto in the Meatpacking District of New York last night. The dinner was attended by members of the Wine Press, including Natasha Lardera, Pino Cavallo of Gazettino, Italian Wine Industry people like Leonardo Locasio the founder and proprietor of Winebow, Salvatore Evangelista of Supreme Wines, and Daniel Bellino Zwicke.

The feature of the evening was the wines of Baldini Venturini which were paired along with other wines to a phenomenal 7 course menu created by Del Posto’s Executive Chef Mark Ladner.

The evening started with a cocktail hour of Carpene Malvoltti Prosecco followed by the sit down dinner.

We began the meal with perfect Prosciutto di Parma paired with Venturini’s Malvasia,
Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa 2007. This wine was absolutely extraordinary. Immediately as I brought the wine to my nose I could smell a complex array of aromas led by what smelled like Over-Ripe Pears and Apples. It was phenomenal. In the mouth the wine tasted of a great Sauterne minus the sweetness. This wine is a absolute “Winner,” Unfortunately these wines are not yet available in the U.S. but is sure to be so soon as a few of the Wine Importers present were hot for these wines and practically fighting to see who will be Lucky enough to have them in their Portfolio.

The second course was Aragosta con Salsa Americana (Lobster Salad with Campari Sauce) paired with the Tocai Friuliano,Livio Feluga 2007 which paired nicely with the Lobster. The Tocai exhibited classic Tocai flavors of crisp Apple with hints of Figs and nuts. Very nice from one of Friuli’s top producers Livio Feluga, who in this Wine Guys eyes (nose and mouth) makes the most wonderful Pinot Grigio on the entire market.

Livio Feluga’s Pinot Grigio has a beautiful copper tint in color, with excellent fruit aromas, and wonderful Pear and Kiwi with a tad of savory ness that is absolutely delicious. This wine taste of ripe Pears and Kiwi with a twinge of savory-ness.
Feluga’s Pinot Grigio is perfection when it comes to representing this grape variety to it ultimate peak. I am not one to hardly ever drink Pinot Grigio, but I would never say “No” to the fine wine. It is a joy to drink.
Note: We did not drink Livio Feluga Pinot Grigio at the dinner, but with the mention of the Tocai that we had, I couldn’t pass up the chance to talk about this wonderful wine.

For our “Third Course” Chef Ladner sent us Gargenelli Al Ragu Bognese, which was absolute “Perfection Personified” on a plate. The Bolognese was so wonderful that this guy wish that the portion on the plate was double of what it actually was. Rich and so sublime. It was cruel and a tease to us to eat something so flavorsome, and just have a tiny taste. “Se la Vie.” Lambrusco Rosso, Reggiano, Venturini Baldini 2007 with its invigorating flavors of Sour Cherries and Plum was the perfect foil to the “
Perfect Bolognese.” The wine was refreshing and wonderful and a delight to drink.

Our fourth course, Salsiccia di Foe Gras was quite tasty. The Lambrusco Spumante, Rubino del Cerro, Venturini Baldini 2007 paired with the Foe Gras sausage was an excellent match.

Fifth Course was Beef Tenderloin that melted in the mouth, grass fed from Colorado. Superb, paired with Barolo Damilano.

For desert we were served two courses. The first Dolce was Citus Fantasia (Lime and Grapefruit Gelato) paired with two tasty desert wines; a delisious Marzemino, Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa, Venturini Baldini 2007 and Malvasia, Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa, Venturini Baldini 2007 which was delicate and elegant with lovely Pear and Apple flavors.

We were then served the second desert course of Biscotti Assortiti (Assorted Cookies), paired with 10 Year Tawny Port, Neiport NV.

The dinner, the food, wine, and company were a “Joy.” It was quite a wonderful evening.

Let us point out the fact that in the 1970 their was a “Tons” of awful cheap and cheese Lambrusco dumped on the U.S. which is not real Lambrusco but wine that was created to sell to those with uneducated and unsophisticated palates. There were two or three companies who ahd excellent ad and markdting campaigns geared toward that specific audience. The wine was compared to other awful cheap wines like Boone’s Farm. These people who made these so-called Lambrusco’s did a great job of marketing and selling Millions upon Million’s of bottles of the “Plunk.” They also did a great job of giving real true Lambrusco a Super Big Black Eye and oh-so bad reputation of which was never deserved , just as massed produced Soave and Valpolicella received an undeserved bad naneat the time.

True Lambrusco wonderful to drink. It is a nice refreshing unique alternative to drink now and then as something different. Luckily the Lambrusco Consorzio has done a fine job in recent years to kill this negative outlook of Lambrusco. The producers have done a great job making tasty true and traditional Lambrusco and New Yorkers and other Americans of good-taste and education have been taking to this Lovely wine. “Thank God, Lambrusco is finally getting the good due it deserves,” so has Valpolicella and Soave. These wines are good and pleasant to drink and it is nice to see more Americans discovering and accepting them. Even Loving them. Last year, more Lambrusco was sold then ever in the U.S. Have you tried some yet? Do so.