Chianti Comes To Town


Sassello and awesome reserve production CHianti from Castello Verrazzano

by Luigi Cappellini


Daniel Bellino-Zwicke and Cavalier Luigi Cappellini of Castello Verrazzano at DeGrzia Restaurant

New York  …

Yes Chianti came to town the other day. The town? New York City. The Chianti, Castello Verrazzanno … Luigi Cappellini of Castello Verrazzano (Owner) visited with me and tasted me on his latest offerings from his equisite wine estate in Greve in Chianti Classico .. Chianti Classico is the great wine region in Tuscany that produces Italy’s most storied wine “Chianti” along with Vin Santo and porprietory Super Tuscan Wines .. Mr. Cappellini is the proud owner of one of Chianti Classico’s and Italy’s finest most beautiful wine estates. They produce three different Chianti wines; a Chianti normale, Chianti Riserva, and a special limited edition Cru Chianti in Sassello which was formally bottled as a Super Tuscan but has by a good choice of Mr. Cappellini been made and classified into Chianti Classico Riserva status. Luigi brought the Sassello to me to taste along with other fine wines. Let me tell you, when I tasted the Sassello, it blew my wine. The “Sassello” Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 is one of the finest wines that I have tasted of a few thousand wines this year. The wine has everything going on for it, and I’m not going to go into some drrwn out boring discription other than to say it was delicious, tasty, “In Perfect Balance,” and just one of those extra special wines. I love it, and ordered 2 6 packs on the spot. We have many great wines in our extensive cellars of Big Names of great prestige and storied vintages, and I can easily say, that when we take delivery of this wine next week it will be among our greatest wines in our cellars of a couple thousand, the wine is great as great can be, “Basta!”

Luigi also brought his 2009 Chianti  normale and Chianti Reserva 2007, both quite tasty. Unfortunately, I wasn’t tasted on their (Verrazzano’s) great Vin Santo, which I’ve drank on numerous occasions in Greve at the Verrazzano Estate .. I wasn’t tasted on it, as the importer Palm Bay does not import that particular wine from Verrazzano, but I can tell you from experience, the wine is nutty, lush, and just perfect …

One wine that Luigi tasted me on and of which I just bought 2 cases as I love it, is a wine called Verrazzano Rosso, with a subtitle of MiniTuscan … The wine is super tasty and very affordable … It is made of Sangiovese, Cannaiolo, Mavasia, and a tiny bit of Trebbiano. This wine is made in the classic true old style of Chianti of which white grapes were allowed in the blend of mostly Sangiovese Grapes along with the native Cannaiolo, and white native grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia. The wine is quite tasty of medium body and ripe as well as a tad of bitter fruit flavors. As I said, this wine as made in the way that Chianti used to be made with native grapes of the Chianti Classico wine region. The laws and rules of what is a Chianti Classico by the law of the Italian Goverment and Chianti Consorzio were changed in 1996 to incude the sacraligious inclusion of international grapes like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon … For those who know me, they know I distane this practice along with a few other people who are Chinati lovers and purest. We wish for the laws to change back and exclude all “non-native Grapes” like Merlot, Cabernet Suavignon and any others, and for Chianti to incude only native grapes and a blend of mostly Sangiovese and including small amounts of native grapes like; Cannaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nero, and very tiny amounts if a property so chooses of the white grapes of Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianco. This is true CHianti and the kind of Chianti Luigi Cappellini makes at the Verrazzano Estate.

Daniel Bellino Zwicke



"La TAVOLA" is Greenwich Village Italian by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

“La TAVOLA” is Greenwich Village Italian by Daniel Bellino Zwicke




The Bellino’s  “My Granparents Philipo & Josephina Bellino with My Mother “Lucia” and Uncle Tony  …. Lodi, New Jersey, probably late 1940’s or early 1950’s

Picture of The Bellino Family, Lodi, New Jersey, possibly late 1940s or early 1950s .. From left to right, Grandpa Philipo Bellino, Mommy, Lucia Bellino, Uncle Tony, “Tony Bellino” and Grandma Josephina Bellino … Not pictured, Lucy and Tony’s sister Lilly and Brothers James and Frank Bellino. My Grandparents came to America through Ellis Island in 1904 from Lecara Freddi, Sicily, Italy … Lecara Freddi is the same town the Sinatra Family are from, as well as famed gangster Lucky Luciano. Lecara Freddi is not far from Corleone, about 17 miles.
My Grandfather had a Shoemaker Shop on Main Street in Lodi, and my Grandparents, Mother, and my aunts and uncles.




Read About Italian-American New York & New Jersey in SICILIAN AMERICAN NEW YORKER'S Danile Bellino-Zwicke's "La TAVOLA"

Read About Italian-American New York & New Jersey in SICILIAN AMERICAN NEW YORKER’S Danile Bellino-Zwicke’s “La TAVOLA”





Cubano, Sandwich Cubano, Cuban Sandwich, it’s a marvel, and one of The World’s Great Sandwiches. It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve been extolling its virtues for years. 27 to be exact, as I had my first way back in 1986, thanks to by good buddy and fellow cook (back then) John Lee .. He knew about them and turned me on to them, and it’s been a Love Affair with the “Sandwich” ever since. And speaking of the single word “Sandwich” this is what’s it was known of originally in Cuba, a Sandwich. in Cuba you wouldn’t call a sandwich a Cuban Sandwich or Sandwich Cubano, all though now some do, as the Cubans have picked up on the American and Cuban-American term for this wonderful sandwich the Sandwich Cubano.

OK, so what is it you say? Well, it’s a marvel and without question one of the World’s Great Sandwiches, right up there with; Pastrami, Roast Beef, Sausage & Peppers, the Croque Monsieur, and The Central Grocery Muffuletta. The Cuban Sandwich consists of; slices of Roast Pork Leg, Ham, Swiss Cheese, thin slices of Pickle and Mayonnaise on Cuban Water Bread. Some put on Mustard and though i love the stuff, for me it throws off the balance of the sandwich, but? Anyway, the main ingredient inside the Cubano is the roast fresh Pork Leg, a Slice of Swiss Cheese and some boiled Ham with a couple then slices of Pickle and mayonnaise  please leave off the mustard. These ingredients go in-between Cuban Water Bread a long bread that looks much like French Bread, though a bit less crisp. Less crisp before the sandwich is made that is, as one of the great features of this wonderfully amazing sandwich is that once it is filled it is put on a plancha. This is an electric sort of grill, much like the modern day Panini-Press. The sandwich is put into this press for about 8-10 minutes until the bread gets a nice crunchy slightly brown crust. All the ingredients heat up nicely in the press and when it’s done, the maker cuts it in half with a nice angular cut, and Voila, get ready for one of life’s great culinary treats, The Sandwich Cubano.

When I started eating these puppy’s way back in 86, I used to eat them mainly at one of 3 places. The Casa De Jagua on Rivington Street in New York’s Lower East Side, another place around the corner on Essex Street which sadly no longer exists, and at Chelsea Havana (still open), another place my good buddy John Lee turned me on to. Back then, not many (non-Hispanics) knew of this great sandwich which was sold at Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican Diners (Loncherias), some would think of as Latin Greasy Spoons. It seemed as though Caucasians were afraid of these places, or whatever and would never set foot in them. I delighted in taking as many white-people as I could to these places, simply because the food and ambiance were wonderful and the prices quite nice. many have thanked me for doing so, and I say that the pleasure was all mine and always has been to turn people on to places, different foods, and to cook for them myself as well.

Even to this day there are still many who have never delighted in this great culinary marvel. percentage wise many more people have eaten Cubanos as compared to back then, but still there are many who have not. So all I can say is, if you’re ready this, and have never had one, a Cubano, “What The Hell Are You Waiting For?” don’t be left around, get thee to a good Cuban, Dominican, or Puerto Rican Restaurant, order a Cubano and enjoy. As Tony Montana would say, “The World Is Yours Chico.”


My Buddy Don Daniele at Home in Havana .. 








NEW YORK TIMES   3 STARS   of Possible 4  … Pete Wells

NEW YORK POST 2 STARS of Possible 4 .. Steve Cuozzo


THE NEW YORK OBSERVER …. Joshua David Stein says “Carbone Makes a Case Greatness In A Red Sauce Joint”

GAEL GREEME The Insatiable Critic Gives CARBONE (Greenwich Village) High Marks After Going to “Wrong Carbone” in Hells Kitchen ...

BLOGS OVERALL:  Most like or Love Carbone. Some Don’t, but Carbone defiantely comes out on the Plus Side with Bloggers.









Mangia Bene!

Mangia Bene!