Tag Archive | Italian Food

Pink Thing of The Day: Exterior of Pink Restaurant

Pietro Nolita Photo By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

I’ve been hearing about Pietro Nolita since it opened (a few years ago at this point), because it is an Italian Restaurant downtown that’s Pink on the exterior and interior. I’ve always meant to visit, of course — because: Pink Restaurant — but it’s not in my neighborhood and I’m lazy, so I’ve never see the pinkness before in person, until now.

Pietro Nolita Photo By Gail Worley

The fact that Pietro Nolita had completely fallen off my radar made it that much sweeter to literally stumble upon it last week, as I walked home to the East Village from a doctor’s appointment in the Financial District and decided to shake up my route. Isn’t it adorable? Who wouldn’t want stop in and check it out?

Pietro Nolita Exterior Photo By Gail Worley

I love the details they put into it, including flower boxes bursting with Pink Silk Chrysanthemums.

pink silk mums photo by gail worley

hektad hearts photo by gail worley

Popular street artist Hektad has even contributed a flourish of his signature heart art.

hektad and baby faces photo by gail

And you might remember these little guys from a previous post! Ah, the Pinkness.

Located at 174 Elizabeth Street, Pietro Nolito is open during lockdown from Thursday through Sunday, Noon to 8 PM for Take Out and Delivery. I Promise that once it Reopens I Will Eat There and File a Full Report!

Pietro Nolita Photo By Gail Worley

Cooking With Gail Presents: Savory Italian Wontons

Nasoya Wrappers
All Photos By Gail

Hello and welcome to another installment of Cooking with Gail: the series that is all about me making a meal from whatever I can find in my house. The weather has been a bit inclement here in NYC just recently, and getting out to the store can be a pain. On a recent snowy and bitterly cold evening, I was staring down my open refrigerator in search of ingredients to make into some kind of interesting meal.

Nasoya Wonton Wrappers
There are about 40 Wonton Wrappers in Each Package!

The first intriguing item I found was a package of Nasoya brand Wonton Wraps. My neighbors have used these wraps and absolutely rave about how great they are for filling with just about any kind of leftover, so I knew they would be adaptable to my creativity – or lack thereof! In the Freezer/Fridge I also found:

4 Ounce Ground Beef Patty

One 4-ounce Ground Beef Burger courtesy of Omaha Steaks

Pasta Sauce

Jarred Pasta Sauce

Sartori Aisago Cheese

Sartori brand Asiago Cheese

Thus the idea for Italian Style Wontons was born!

Ingredients Prep

Here are all of the ingredients laid out, with the wontons now ready to be assembled. Don’t worry if you have no idea what are doing (raises hand), as a step by step, visual guide on how to fold and seal a wonton is included in the package.

Nasoya Wonton Wrappers Recipes 2

They also include a few recipes, which were helpful to use for reference in deducing how exactly the wontons should be cooked. More about that later.

\Sample Wrapper with Filling

Into the center of each wonton wrapper put one small teaspoon of meat sauce topped with a small pinch of cheese. I am not kidding when I say that you must not put more than one teaspoon of filling in each wonton. If you overfill them they will not be easy to seal, and then you will be sad.

Completed Wontons Before Cooking

This what they look like once they are all pinched and twisted. Pretty! You may be surprised (I sure was) to know that just 4 ounces of cooked, lean ground beef yields 15 plump wontons! Wow, what a feast!

Wontons Ready for the Oven

Here they are all ready for the oven! Before baking, brush each wonton lightly with melted margarine and be sure to spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray or just brush with leftover melted margarine (which is what I did).

There was not an exact cooking time or temperature recommended for my on-the-fly creation, so I came up with a baking estimate of 425 degrees for 8 minutes. This proved to be pretty accurate, as the wontons came out lightly golden brown, and slightly browner and crispier on the bottom, which was very desirable.

Cooked Wontons

Since I was basically experimenting, I baked the wontons in two batches. This is what the second batch looked like coming out of the oven. As you can see, they are a bit dark at the edges (though this yielded no discernible burnt taste). I chock that up to the oven being really hot after having cooked the first batch. I’d recommend that if you are going to use the “batch method,” that you lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees and cut the cooking time down to 7 minutes for the second batch. Your mileage may vary.

Ready to Eat

Now you are ready to eat these delicious morsels of goodness, so just arrange them on a plate with a small dish of warm marinara sauce for dipping (I used the leftover shredded Asiago cheese for a garnish). Mmm…so super tasty! I would like to point out also that it is perfectly OK for you to eat these wontons using only your hands. And as everyone knows, eating with ones hands makes all foods taste better. Enjoy!

For delicious recipes and additional information on Nasoya Wonton Wraps, and other Nasoya Products, please visit Nasoya Dot Com.

Neapolitan Pies Hit the Upper West Side at Fratelli La Bufala

Fratelli la Bufala Restaurant Logo

Note Fratelli La Bufala Closed in 2014:
In Italian, the word Bufala (if you couldn’t guess) means Buffalo: as in the mighty animal and the delicious mozzarella cheese, but the word can also signify something that is meant to be a joke, or a humorous story. At least that’s what I was told when I visited Fratelli La Bufala, a new European-based chain Pizza restaurant that opened its doors on Broadway and 76th Street on April 27th. One might ask if New York City really needs another pizza restaurant, let alone a chain restaurant just getting its feet wet in America. But early signs point to Fratelli la Bufala having something unique to offer.

The Fratelli La Bufala brand (FLB) was established in Naples, Italy in 2003 by three partners, who created a whimsical back-story for their road to success, recounted as an old-fashioned fairy tale. The story goes that, after the loss of their father, the young and brave Fratelli brothers emigrated to different corners of the world in search of fame and adventure. After many years of hard work, they joined together their respective successful pizza restaurant ventures, which today account for 100 Fratelli La Bufala (literal translation: Brothers of the Buffalo) restaurants in major cities across Europe, and now in the US (the NYC location is only the second in the US after Miami) with plans to expand further.

Le Reale Pizza at Fratelli la Buffala

La Reale Pizza With Prosciutto (Food Photos By Anne Raso)

As soon as you enter the lively and bustling space, you’ll see the impressive black pizza oven attended to by three authentically regional chefs, who came over from Naples to work and train new employees in the ways of pizza making. Once we gazed upon these hot and deliciously fragrant pies travelling from the oven to various tables across the restaurant, we knew we had to taste them. Since we had brought only a modest appetite, we chose to focus on sharing one pie, knowing that future visits were likely so we could sample many other selections. Our choice was the La Reale ($20.50), a white (sauce-less) pie covered with mozzarella, provola and ricotta cheeses, cherry tomatoes, and plentiful portions of salty prosciutto. To us, there is no such thing as too much cheese, and this was one of the most luxuriously cheesey pizzas we’ve tasted. Dare we say it: Best on the Upper West Side! The pizza also has a wonderfully chewy-crisp thin crust, which is what you expect from old fashioned oven-baked pies like these. Add a big green salad and you’ve got a feast that will satisfy any appetite. Of course, we also had to try a dessert, and their rich and creamy Tiramisu ($9) ranks among the best. Mangia!

Tiramisu at Fratelli la Buffala

Tiramisu

With Fratelli La Bufalo open for just under a month, as expected, they still have a few wrinkles to iron out, which we’ll make you aware of now. When we visited, the gas grill was not yet in operation, which meant that none of the menu’s featured meat dishes (including the mashed potato-stuffed meatballs and the rib eye steak) were available. Likewise, several pasta dishes (and even a featured dessert) were unavailable for whatever reason, so it’s advisable to either stick to ordering the pizza, or be sure to ask before you start perusing the menu’s many color photo-studded pages if there are certain dishes which are ‘off menu’ that day.

On the upside, the NYC location is lovely and comfortable with an engaging ambiance. The interiors were designed by Lelia Castellano and include colorful murals and pop art paintings by Antonio Montariello. It’s simple, but chic, modern and unpretentious. And the pizza really is delicious.

Fratelli La Bufala is Located at 2161 Broadway at the Northwest Corner of 76th Street, New York, NY 10024 ( just blocks from the 1, 2 and 3 trains at 72nd Street). Phone 212-496-5303 or visit their website at This Link for more information. The Restaurant does not accept reservations at this time.