Want to voice your opinion (or is it outrage?) at the Zabar’s lobster née crayfish salad scandal?
Here’s your chance. Go to the West Side Rag to vote for your favorite new name for this now-notorious seafood concoction.
Guest columnist, Toni Lydecker, author of Seafood alla Siciliana: Recipes and Stories from a Living Tradition, reported on a recent event in which two of New York’s famed Italian deli owners mused about their businesses, the younger generation coming up, and how to be a smart Italian deli shopper.
Italian deli is one of New York’s great food treasures. And DiPalo’s Fine Foods at 200 Grand Street, perched on a corner of the still remaining sliver of Little Italy, sports old time marble countertops. Staff still tally the tab on a paper bag. In fact, while some things haven’t changed since the Little Italy store was founded a century ago, there are new offerings afoot.
And in Coluccio & Sons’ aisles, in the heart of Bensonhurst at 1214 60th Street, you hear as much Italian as English. In some ways, these venerable family-owned specialty shops are never going to change—and thank God.
That didn’t stop moderator Michelle Scicolone (whose newest cookbook is The Italian Slow Cooker) from asking, “What’s new? “when Lou DiPalo and Louis Coluccio shared a stage at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò the other night.
One thing that’s new is that “ a new generation is coming into our businesses,” said DiPalo. His son Sam has been seeking out vintages from every Italian region for the family’s new wine shop.
And the vintage deli is going a bit 21st century. At Di Palo’s, a new site, www.dipaloselects.com, reaches customers far beyond New York.
Coluccio, the young grandson of Coluccio & Sons’ founder, said the family is introducing a private-label artisanal pasta made in Gragnano. He’s working with Locanda Verde chef Andrew Carmellini and other chefs to educate consumers about authentic Italian products.
What do these deli chieftains like to eat when they’re not scooping freshly made ricotta for legions of faithful customers?
Lou: After closing up the store, we unwind with a great cheese (from a selection of more than 300; Testun from Piemonte is a current favorite), salumi, maybe some artichoke cream and olives, a good wine.
Louis: I take home pasta (he has a choice of 200 cuts) and San Marzano tomatoes and make a simple sauce.
Top tip for customers?
Louis: Don’t assume the costliest is the best. Sometimes the most expensive balsamic isn’t what you need.
Lou: Buy cheese cut to order if you can—the cut surfaces start to oxidize almost immediately, changing the flavor. And always ask to taste it.
The Upper West Side deli wars are heating up. Artie’s Delicatessen at 2290 Broadway has a new owner who reportedly plans to expand the chain to other locations across the city, says Crain’s NY Business.com. Big Daddy’s is in an expansion mode too; that retro eatery is also moving to Broadway on the Upper West Side.
When it comes to purchasing already-prepared Hanukkah latkes–those irresistible potato pancakes that are to Hanukkah as fruit cake is to Christmas–the Upper West Side abounds with dining-in or take-out options.
“We do a beautiful job on latkes,” remarked Nick the cook at Barney Greengrass, the iconic dairy restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue on New York’s Upper West Side.
If you want latkes to eat in or take home, the famed eatery will be happy to supply them. They’re already prepared and ready to purchase on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. During the rest of the week, call ahead, “and we’ll make them for you,” Nick advised.
Here are some places on the Upper West Side to purchase latkes for your Hanukkah celebration.
212 579 5959
541 Amsterdam Ave.
212 724 4707
Fine and Schapiro
138 W 72nd St # A
212 877 2874
Lansky’s Old World Deli
235 Columbus Ave
212 787 0400
212 787 2000
For those who think there’s never too much of a good thing, check out the pastrami burger at Artie’s Deli. Even fressers should take their Lipitor before indulging. Here’s a review from the Westside Independent:
By Pervaiz Shallwani
A few weeks ago, we read with some interest about Salt Lake City being home to, of all things, a culture of pastrami burgers. Then we learned this belly-busting mix of down home America meets Jewish deli was right here in our backyard.
Of course, it was not a surprise that the meat-on-meat sandwich was at Artie’s Deli, the homage to since-passed Artie Cutler, the man behind that puzzlingly beloved American-Italian eating establishment Carmines. If a heaping burger is not enough, the Pastrami Burger, comes topped with, yup, a sandwich helping of homemade shaved pastrami.