La Tavola is New York York Italian


The Food, People, Restaurants, Pork Stores, Butcher Shops, Bakeries, and Caffes of Italian-American New York .. Wonderful Recipes and Stories of Italian-American New Yorkers, their Food, Kitchens, and Feast of The Table “La Tavola”


Wow, what a wonderful book. If you love Italian Food and are in to the Italian-American lifestyle and its many fine rituals of kitchen and table then you’ll just love Daniel Bellino Zwicke’s “La Tavola.” The book is filled with many wonderful stories of Italian-America, like a chapter all about the famed Italian-American Sunday Ritual of The Sunday Sauce, aka “Gravy.” There’s a wonderful chapter on SINATRA, and a great one on Italian Wine. This book is filled with many great stories of Italian-America and all involved and through the stories, this book is almost like a guide book in the fact that there are so many facts peppered in the stories. Facts and info on the best Italian Restaurants, Caffes, Bakeries, Pizzerias, Pork Stores and such. The book has some wonderful recipes, like; how to make the Best Tomato Sauce, Pasta Fazool, Chicken Cacciatore, Sunday Sauce, Meatball Parm Sandwiches and all your Italian Favorites. It’s a book of Food, Friends, Family and Love. I highly recommend this one.

 As Reviewed on



 Question :  Where to get the Best Plat of SPAGHETTI MEATBALLS in New York

 Answer : MONTE’S TRATTORIA on Macdougald Street in GREENWICH VILLAGE 



TRATTORIA MONTE’S   …. Greenwich Village New York




Sophia Loren

“Just Because”  !!!












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.” 
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.


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
Me & Conti Francesco Cinzano
at DeGrezia, New York
Francesco Tasted Me on All His Current Vintage Wines
Including Rosso di Montalcino
Me & My Buddy
with Author ITALIAN NEW YORK WINE GUY Daniel Bellino Zwicke
by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

Mommy’s Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers alla Lucia

As I walked out of my apartment in Greenwich Village, something hit me. It was an unmistakeable smell … A smell and aromas that instantly brought me back to my youth and my mother cooking the dish. Yes I know that smell quite well and can easily identify. The smell? Why Stuffed Peppers of course! As the peppers roast, stuffed most likely with ground beed mixed with rice (to strecth-out the beef), garlic and grated Parmiggiano Reggiano with tomato sauce. Yes the smell is quite wonderful and when I remember as my mother cooked the dish often. Stuffed Peppers along with; Meatballs, Stuffed Artichokes, Meatlaof, Eggplant, Braciole, and Stuffed Shells were one of the main-stays of my mothers Italian roots repetoire. A dish I always loved, but releived as I walked out my door the other day, a dish, just like Stuffed Shells and Chicken Cacctiatore that are hardly ever eat these days. I pondered why, and decided there was no good reason and I have to remedy this little delema, and soon.
I haven’t had the dish in quite some time,  and decided I must have it soon. I went to the supermarket and got all the ingredients,; the Green Bell Peppers, ground beef, a can of San Marzano Tomatoes, and rice. I bought the Grated Parmiggiano at Raffetto’s around the block and I was all set to go.
First things first, so I put the rice on to cook.  I got a little tomato sauce going with garlic, olive oil, Pepperoncino, and the San Marzano’s,   I chopped the Italian Parsely, onions, and Garlic for the stuffing, and got things ready.
  I got 6 peppers that I would cut the tops off, then pull out the core inside. 
So the rice had finished cooking and cooled down, and it was time to put in a mixing bowl with the ground beef, garlic, chopped onions, grated cheese, and parsley. Season with salt and Black Pepper, throw in one egg and mix with my hands till everything was well mixed, just they mommy did. The stuffing was ready to stuff into the peppers. Fill all the peppers with the beef mixture, top them with their tops, pot some tomato sauce in the casserole dish, place the peppers in there, and throw them in the oven. In a little more than an hour they’d be done.
I pot on some Sinatra and Louie Prima, cracked open a “Nice Bottle of Chianti,” as Anthony Hopkins would say, and waited for the Peppers to cook. 
Now I was making my own again, and I’m sure some of the neighbors were jealous as I was the other day, smelling those tasty Stuffed Peppers one of my neighbors was making, but none would I have. Not that day anyway, but now, and time for others to be wanting and not me. I’m sorry I can’t feed everyone. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I love to cook and feed others. My friends, family, whoever, and this often do, of which many will attest to.
Well noone is coming today. I’m gonna eat a couple of these suckers today, and the rest I’ll leave in the frig and have 3 or 4 more meals of these babies during the week, Stuffed Peppers, Chianti, and Sinatra, “yes life is good at times,” times like these ….

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke

Daniel Bellino’s

When Italian-AMericans Cook