Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New York Italian red Sauce Joints

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 Gino’s of Lexington Avenue? This restaurant was one of the most special restaurants that ever was. Ask any of the few hundred regulars who ate there so many times a year. How many you ask? Well, there are regulars who ate there 2 to 3 times a week, some once a week, some one or two times a month, and some maybe four to six times a year, but all regulars. That’s how it goes with regulars in restaurants, and this is a solid foundation that all good restaurants need to succeed in New York. Gino’s had a pretty long history for its regulars to enjoy for any number of years. The restaurant opened in 1945 by Gino Circiello and two partners, was in operations for 65 until it closed in 2010 after losing their lease. Needless to say this was a sad day for all its devoted regulars which included the likes of; Gay Talese, David Suskind, Frank Sinatra, many luminaries along with numerous businessmen and women, and people in the fashion business, publishing, law, and all sorts of businesses. Gino’s customers loved and revered the place, a wonderful Italian Red Sauce Joint where you could get a great meal of solid Italian classic dishes, at reasonable prices, with good service and a perfect ambiance that included one of New York’s last remaining telephone booths and the famed Zebra wallpaper. And it was the clientele that really made the perfect ambiance that was Gino’s, which was par excellence. Gino’s was filled to capacity each day and night for lunch and dinner, jammed with people doing business, or just simply having a great time eating Baked Clams Oreganta followed by Linguine w/ Clam Sauce, Chicken or Veal Parmigiano or perhaps a daily special like Veal Ossobuco or braised Lamb Shanks, the food was always good at Gino’s, everything was. The people just loved it there. The vibe was always great, lively and full of life, that was Gino’s.  



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 . There was Gino and later on Michael Miele (a former employee who became the owner), there was of course the Zebra Wallpaper, the old-school waiters, the tasty food, and the clientele themselves that filled the air of Gino’s dining room with good natured chatter and that special feeling that a room full of happy people makes. And you were always more than happy when you were in Gino’s. Yes, Gino’s was a restaurant that’s now known as an Old School Red Sauce Joint. This being a restaurant that had pretty much the same standard dishes that so many people love, millions in fact. The menu had items like; Caprese Salad, Baked Clams, both Casino and Oreganata, Seafood Salad, Spaghetti w/ Tomato Sauce, or Bolognese, Manicotti, Ravioli, and Gino’s famous Pasta Segreto with their famed Secret Sauce. You had all the most popular chicken, fish, and veal dishes, dishes like; Chicken Parmigiano, Veal Saltimbocca, Veal Piccata, Veal Milanese (Sinatra’s favorite), Shrimp Scampi, Clams Posillipo another Sinatra favorite, Lobster Fra Diavolo and the sort of solid Italian food that Italian-Americans and the rest of their American brethren all loved and still love, regardless of what snobbish food critics may say or think. For Gino’s clientele knew what was real, and Gino’s was as real as it got. If you asked Frank (Sinatra) he’d set you straight, “Gino’s is the Real Deal Baby.” Well, so sadly, Gino’s closed in 2010. It was a sad day indeed, and for regulars an actual tragedy, we lost our favorite clubhouse of all. A place that was so special and uniquely wonderful you just can’t replace. Yes a sad day indeed. Gino’s was irreplaceable, it’s a sin that it died, never-the-less it did. This was a crime, a crime against New York, Italian-America and Gino’s many devoted fans. If you knew Gino’s you’d surely agree. Yes, even Gino’s a historical Old School Italian joint came to an end and died, a fate happening all over the country. We’re losing our wonderful beloved Red Sauce Joints. Places that are a part of American history, the history of Italian-America and even of Italy, as it was the citizens of our motherland who came here and created Italian-American Cuisine and Red Sauce Joints like our beloved Gino’s and other restaurants just like it all over America. Farewell to Gino’s and places like Rocco’s in Greenwich Village and all of our famous red sauce joints of years gone by. Now hold on a minute. Yes we’ve lost many a great red sauce joints in the past years, and even still. But guess what? With places like Frankie’s Spuntino and Carbone in Greenwich Village, Red Sauce are now hip and as beloved as ever. They’re among one of the hot new restaurant and food-trends of most recent years. Unfortunately, Carbone is very expensive. Frankie’s on the other hand is not, it’s quite reasonable and in the true spirit of Old School Italian-American restaurants. Let’s hope this trend continues and instead of so many flashy restaurant that are not in the spirit of old school Italian-America, we need to get more restaurants like Frankie’s and Rubirosa. And if we’re lucky some day, maybe someone will open another Gino’s complete with all the old dishes like Pasta Segreto and the Scalamandre Zebra Wallpaper of course, of which Gino’s would not be Gino’s. Gino’s we miss you so. So now it’s a sad state of affairs when we talk of these wonderful old Red Sauce Joints of our lives. We’ve had many good time there; family dinners, meals with friends, and courting and such. These places provide the perfect ambiance with great food, wine, and the animated waiter or two. But sadly not many are left. As you know, we lost Gino’s a few years ago and numerous good old restaurants before that. In Manhattan where I live it doesn’t even take the fingers of one had to count how many old Italian Red Sauce Joints are left. There’s Rao’s up in East Harlem, one of the all-time great new York City old-school Italian Restaurants with just the right ambiance and wonderful old-school Italian food, but guess what, you can’t get in. The place is sort of an exclusive club where people have a table reserved once a week and there’s never any opening, unless you know one of these elite in the know people, just Fuggetabout-it! So there’s Rao’s up in East Harlem, Patsy’s in mid-town, and John’s of East 12th Street down in the East Village. John’s opened in 1908 and is still in business. Not only is it still in business, but the place has been wonderfully preserved and retains its original décor from 1908, the old tile floor, murals of Italian Cities and places like Venice, Rome, The Bay of Naples, and more. They still have the original bar and autographed pictures of movie stars and other celebrities from a large part of the 2oth Century. The menu at John’s has most of the expected Red Sauce dishes like; Spaghetti with White or Red Clams Sauce, Veal Saltimbocca, Chicken Scarpara, Veal Piccata, Speedino of Mozzarella alla Romano, Baked Clams Oreganata, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna, and Canneloni. The kitchen churns out real solid food with standouts being there Baked Clams and their Speedino alla Romano which is without question the best in the city. John’s has quite a history with Lucky Lucciano being a regular once upon a time, along with numerous mobsters back in the day, and John’s has seen the likes of The Ramones, Cindy Lauper, John Lennon and other luminaries walk through its doors. There’s one other old Red Sauce Joint around the corner from John’s, and that’s Lanza’s on 1st Avenue and 11th Street. Lanza’s is actually a few years older than John’s opening in 1904. Lanza’s is pretty nice and a good part of it has been preserved, although a few years ago they made some changes to the décor which sort of ruined it a bit. Lanza’s has that great classic red sauce joint menu with items like Spaghetti Marinara, Pasta Fagioli, Manicotti, Braciole, Cannoli, and the like. Now we come to Patsy’s on West 56th Street in mid-town Manhattan. Guess what? This was Frank Sinatra’s all-time favorite restaurant, he ate there hundreds of times over the years and just loved it. It’s a great restaurant and if you go there, why not get some of Frank’s favorite dishes? Frank’s favorites were; Clams Posillipo, Spaghetti Marinara, and Veal Milanese. And yes, Sinatra went to Gino’s now and then, but it’s a well know fact that Patsy’s was his favorite. Well, that’s about it on red sauce joints, they’re a dying breed I’m sorry to say. If you’ve never been to John’s, you must check it out. This place is like a museum. Truly. The owners have preserved its décor in an admirable manner, and what you see now is pretty much what Lucky Lucciano would have seen a 100 years ago. You’ll get a wonderful experience here of days gone by. An experience you’ll not find at too many places, so grab it while you still can.     



 Excerpted from Daniel Bellino Zwicke's new forthcoming book, MANGIA ITALIANO, my Memories of Italian Food .... 

Due October 2016





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This, and more in MANGIA ITALIANO - Memories of Italian Food

COMING October 2016

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Monday, August 22, 2016

New Italian Book

 

Memories of Italian Food

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Best Selling Cookbook author Daniel Bellino Zwicke has a new book of Recipes & Stories of Italian Food.  As with most of Daniel's books Mangia Italiano is filled with delightful stories of Italian Food and Culture as told through Daniel's eyes. There are stories of; Braciole, Stuffed Artichokes, Pasta, Italian Wedding Soup, Lasagna, Frittata, Italian Red Sauce Restaurants and much more ... This is a book of essays of Italian Food and the Italian-American Lifestyle, told as only Daniel can tell, with stories that are sure to delight any and all lovers of this most popular subject, Italian Food. Read Daniel's accounts of meals at Gino's, John's, and other famed Italian Red Sauce Joints of New York City and of many cherished moments shared at his Italian Table with friends and family as they make their way through course after course of Italian-America and Italy's most storied dishes. Dishes like; Lasagna, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Pasta Fazool, Braciole, Baked Clams, Spaghetti Vongole and much more. If you Love Italian Food, "and who doesn't" you are sure to love Mangia Italiano, Memories of Italian Food. 

MANGIA ITALIANO / Memmories of Italian Food is Due for September 2016 publication ...

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Worlds Best Cookbook Covers

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The Badass Cookbook

GOT ANY KAHLUA ? aka The BIG LEBOWSKI COOKBOOK

The RAGU BOLOGNESE COOKBOOK

SUNDAY SAUCE

by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

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The WORLDS BEST COOKBOOK COVERS

Monday, August 15, 2016

Usain Bolt Fastest Man Alive

   

INSANE USAIN

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The FASTEST MAN ALIVE

USAIN BOLT WINS GOLD in Mens 100 Meter Dash at 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES

in RIO de JANEIRO

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The BIG LEBOWSKI COOKBOOK

GOT ANY KAHLUA ?

The COLLECTED RECIPES of THE DUDE

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Best Cookbook Cover 2014

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SUNDAY SAUCE

Voted Best Italian Cookbook Cover 2014

by Daniel Bellino Z

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Guys with Man Buns Look Like Assholes

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Donald Trump Man Bun


Guys with Man Buns, guess what ? You look like Assholes !

 

Guys, let's get past this horrible fad. I can't understand why a guy would go through the effort of intentionally growing out and cutting their hair in a way that would allow them to pull it up into a bun so they resemble a woman. Just because some great looking actor pulls it off doesn't mean you should do it. When you do it you're just an ugly dude that's trying too hard with his man bun. Not fair on my part, but I immediately dismiss man bun wearers as complete douchebags. Sorry.

Mel and Heath are originals. Their man bun was forged out of necessity. You can’t have hair in your eyes as you shove a bayonet into a Red Coat’s heart. You need to see the expression on their face when you whisper, “Today, we celebrate our independence day, motherfucker.” In almost every situation, a problem isn’t the originator, it’s the imitators. Bluetooth headsets were a hands-free option that made total sense until the guy at the car dealership started wearing them while he wasn’t on the phone. It’s not the guy who puts up that first bun, it’s the guy who sees the hot chick posting a Buzzfeed list of dudes with buns and spends the next year with a bun as his goal. The vagina has mystical, mind bending powers over the male proclivities. Think about skinny jeans, vegan food, writing about love for Elite Daily. Those all started with one dude who got laid and then a million different imitators came along, douched it up, and wasted a country’s time. Cure cancer? Nope, Trevor has to fix his hair bumps created by his pony tail. Start a business? Tucker needs to condition. Invent a blow job robot? Sorry, Smithson has an hour of brushing he has to do each night. Defend this country from China? Rory is debating bangs. Since the dawn of time, male fashion decisions have been based off getting them laid. A caveman once tripped over a rock, and he heard a girl say “Eww” about his taint and now we are all sitting here in this underwear hell. There was an April Fools Day prank about clip-on man buns and I believed it because if vagina was one clip-on away we’d all be shopping for bobby pins. The more we encourage this look, the more we encourage the imitators spending their days trying to create an image of manliness that is built on months of un-manly moments. The longer we push the man bun dudes to the front of the alpha class, the more that door stays open for “men” that complain about gluten allergies in public. If the man-bun rules the pussy, then a larger group of pussies will be leading this nation. Please, women of these United States of America, stop having sex with man bun guys. Resist the temptation. Understand that for every guy who puts his hair in a bun out of necessity, there are six more who saw it in a magazine while getting a mani-pedi. Go for the clean cut guy your grandfather would have fought a war with. Go for the guy wondering about farts. Go for the guy taking off his t-shirt like a fat, dumb animal. Go for a man bun guy, and you’ll create a country of men tucking hair behind their ears instead of pulling yours.    


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George Washington Man Bun


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George W. Busch Cornrow Man-Bun


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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

JERSEY SHORE CRAB SAUCE Recipe

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JERSEY SHORE CRAB SAUCE

There are plenty of Maryland Blue Crabs down on the Jersey Shore, as well as plenty of Italian-Americans. The two go together, and this Crab Sauce for pasta is a specialty of Jersey Italians who love seafood, along with their Brooklyn and New York neighbors. They all love it! So will you.   12 Hard Shell Blue Crabs 12 tablespoons Olive Oil 12 Cloves Garlic, 1 for each Crab, peeled and chopped 1 Small Onion, peeled and chopped fine 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 1 – 28 oz. can whole San Marzano Tomatoes 1 – 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes 1- 16 oz. can Tomato Puree ½ teaspoon dry Basil ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley 1 pound Lump Crab-Meat, fresh frozen or canned 1 pound imported Italian Spaghetti or Linguine   Put olive oil in a large pot and heat to high. Place the Crabs in the pot and sauté at high heat for 10 minutes. After browning the crabs, remove from pan and set aside. Put onions in pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper to pan and cook on low heat for 3 minutes. Add whole tomatoes to pan and cook on high heat for 4 minutes whole stirring with a wooden spoon. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato puree. Add the Crabs back to the pot. Cook for 90 minutes on low heat. Remove the crabs from pan and let cool on the side. Remove all the meat from the crabs and discard the shells. Add crab-meat to sauce with your extra pound of lump crab-meat and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain pasta and put back in the pot it cooked in with 8 tablespoons of reserved pasta cooking water. Sprinkle pasta with a little olive oil and mix. Add 2 cups of crab sauce and half the parsley to pasta and mix. Plate the pasta with sauce on 4 plates in equal portions and top with some more sauce and some parsley.   Notes: Do not serve with cheese! Italians never have cheese with Seafood Pasta. This is enough sauce for 2 to 3 pound of pasta, or about 12 portions, so after you make this Pasta with Crab Sauce with 1 pound of pasta, you still have plenty left over for another day.   Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 1.32.45 PM.png   .   .Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 1.34.47 PM  

Finished Sauce

"Yummm" !!!

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Pasta with Jersey Shore Crab Sauce

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JERSEY CRAB SHORE SAUCE

and Other Great Recipes

in

SEGRETO ITALIANO

by Daniel Bellino Z

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