Thompson Street

The juggernaut, as the New York Times recently called then, The Torris Boys (Major Foods) is going corporate. “Watch Out Boys and Girls,” that means exclusiveness, cachet, and overall cool factor goes down. Major expansion, they going corporate, McDonaldesque if you will. Well not quite, but you know what I mean. The so called Torrisi Boys, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and partner Jeff Zalaznick who own and operate; Carbone, Parm (2 locations), Torrisi Italian Specialties, and ZZ plan on major expansion in the next couple of years with a large bakery/ restaurant downtown, that will partner with Melissa Weller and feature fresh baked; Bagels,Danish, Bear Claws, Challah Bread, yeast based and other baked goods. Jeff Zalaznick states, “It’s going to be our version of Barney Greengrass.”
     The partners whose Parm Restaurant on Mulberry Street next to their first place Torrisi Italian Specialties has been super successful from day one and quickly spawned a sister Parm at Yankee Stadium. The Torrisi Boys (Major Foods) plan on opening several more outposts of PARM all over New York, in; Battery Park, 2 in Brooklyn of which one be near to The Barclay’s Center and another in Williamsburg, the Upper West Side and who knows where else? The New York Times says they plan on building Parm into a citywide Shake Shack style franchise. “Good Luck.” Corporate, make a ton of money, but majorly lose cachet and so-called cool-factor. You can’t have it all boys. They probably do.
    Most well-heeled New Yorkers hate chains a corporate conglomerates when it comes to restaurants. Many giant nation-wide food chains who’ve made it big in a large part of the country thought they’d come in to New York and knock-em-dead. Not! Discerning New Yorkers tend to like small independent restaurants, not corporate like Applebee’s and Bennigans. When you see restaurants like Red Lobster and Olive Garden doing well around Times Square it’s tourists and the less well healed New Yorkers going to them, the rest of us hate chain restaurants. 
    So it will remain to see what happens with Parm, Carbone and the now much smaller Major Foods (Torrisi Boys) empire. With a good number more Parm Outlets open, will the original loss it cachet and hot-factor? Who knows? Probably. And what of Carbone, the flagship of the corporation which has from day one and to this point (March 20, 2014) been uber-hot and still New York’s Hottest Restaurant Ticket in Town? Time will tell, and …



Mulberry Street

Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin




Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce


Well, it seems we’ve been waiting forever, 41 years to be exact since the release of one of America’s most epic movies, The Godfather by Italian-American Director Francis Ford Coppola. What have we been waiting for? A book dedicated to the legendary scene when Corleone Family Caporegime Peter Clemenza teaches Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) how to make “Sauce,” Sunday Sauce that is, aka Gravy, the beloved, monumental, most important dish in all of Italian-America, its cooking, eating and gathering of the family. Clemenza fries up some garlic with tomatoes and Tomato Paste, then “throw in your Meatballs and Sausage,” he adds a little wine, a bit of sugar, and that’s his secret. It’s a piece of movie, AMerican, and Italian American History, purely classical and it’s in Daniel B. Bellino’s new book Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce, the most anticipated cookbook of 2013 ..

Yes, Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce “Gravy” recipe is in their in all its fabulousness, as is Charlie & Big Paulie’s Goodfellas Sunday Sauce and Henry’s Veal & Peppers recipes. LEarn how to make Meatballs, Pasta Fazool, Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, Mussels Marinara and much more. Daniel even includes the top secret recipe for Salsa Segreta, the “Secret Sauce” of beloved (now defunct) New York Italian favorite restaurant Gino’s …

There’s Daniel’s own famed Sunday Sauce and Amatriciana recipes and much more. This book is an absolute Gem “Must Have” for anyone interested in the wonderful Food and History of Italian-American, Italian Food and of course the star of the show, Sunday Sauce. You will delight in every recipe and the whimsical stories and anecdotes of the Italian American lifestyle, particularly in New York and of Mob Movies. As I’ve said it is a must have and especially now with Daniel’s generous introductory offer of just .99 Cents a copy. It’s a steal.

ClemzaMBSunSauceCOVER copy


Carbone -Torissi Boys “ZZ Clam Bar” Opening Soon

Plans for Carbone – Torissi Boys Lobster Club that 3rd partner Jeff Zalaznick was hot on have been scrapped. The Carbone – torissi Team is opening a small clam-bar instead (12 seats) called ZZ Clam Bar a couple doors downstream from their highly sucessful “Carbone” Old-School Red-Sauce Italian Joint. This teams first venture was named after Rich Torissi, the 2nd “Carbone” after Mario Carbone, and now ZZ Clam Bar will be named after Jeff Zalaznick and his nickname “ZZ”








Finicky (Notoriously “Off The Mark”) New York Post Food Critic Steve Cuozzo gives Carbone a luke-warm 2 Stars and quotes The Godfather, saying” The Veal is not the Best in The City,” a line made famous by Al Litieri as Vrigil Sollozzo tells crooked New York City Police Captain McColskey, when he ask, “How’s the Italian Food in this restaurant (Louie’s)?” Solozzo tels him to get the Veal, it’s the best in the city. Well Cuozzo definitely didn’t think that of the Veal at Carbone.

Cuzzo on Carbone’s Pasta 

“Pasta monotonously lacked contrast or texture. Only one of six I tried rang the bell: modestly named, immodestly priced ($30) spaghetti de mare. The joy lay less in showoff elements like rock shrimp, bay scallops and razor clams, than in crackling tomato, garlic, chili, parsley and garlic. Most others evoked mediocre trattorias, especially dry and clumpy angel hair begging for more olive oil.”

Cuzzo on Carbone’s Clams:

Clams three ways batted .333; while oreganata clicked, neither lardo on top of casinos, nor sea urchin in a “fantasia” preparation was my idea of heaven.

Steve Cuozzo’s Fianl Statement on Carbone:

“A restaurant born of so much talent and expectation should dazzle us from inizio alla fine. Carbone flickers like a teasing moon through billows of pomp — in a town full of truly great Italian places, it’s an offer I’ll gently refuse.”


Cuozzo Says Carbone’s $50.00 VEAL PARMIGIANO Is Enough for Two “But Not The Best in The CITY”