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Articles by: Iwona Adamczyk

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    Christmas in August at Eataly

    Think it's too early for Christmas shopping? The holidays always seem to arrive faster than we thought and we tend to never be ready and run around the last few days trying to find a perfect gift. Eataly comes to our rescue yet again. What could be better than a gift of Italian delicacies? Now we are all able to order some of the best products Italy (and Eataly) has to offer with a click of a mouse. 

    For the upcoming Christmas season (and not only, as we search for the perfect gift on many occasions throughout the year) Eataly introduces the GIFT BOXES. These are 21 preselected and thought through collections of items, packed carefully into sturdy boxes, ready to be ordered and shipped to the gift recipient.

    Each box is themed and you are sure to find a perfect one for different people on your list. If cooking is their interest choose from between Lydia's Kitchen or the We Love Mario, both under thirty five dollars each. If you choose to splurge and spoil your gift recipient go for the Molto Batali, a classic for families that make their own kitchens the focal point of the house, it encourages family bonding at the stovetop – with the new “Batali Brothers” cookbook. Also at 150 dollars Gift Box Italy in Cucina contains the Italian pantry staples in ready to inspire the authentic Italophile.

    Eataly Enoteca is the choice for the wine lover on your list and includes two Bormioli Electra Large Wine Glasses, Made in Eataly Pulltex Bottle Opener, “A First Course in Wine: from Grape to Glass”, Eataly Hearts Barolo Eco Canvas Bag, Made in Eataly Sparkling Wine Stopper, Madeira Bread Board, Guzzini Latin Parmigiano-Reggiano Knife, Villa Manodori Balsamic Artigianale, Tamerici Passito Jelly, Prunotto Moscato Wine Jelly, and Cova Pandorino. Eataly of course leaves you room for your own creativity and offers the "build your own" option, where customers can pick and choose from the online selection, and have their choices wrapped and placed in the appropriate sized gift box with a bow and sent on its way to the recipient.

  • Life & People

    The Heart of Casa Belvedere ~ Cucina Colavita

    Casa Belvedere, the official home to the Italian Cultural Foundation whose mission is to preserve, promote and celebrate all things Italian is now a proud owner of a state of the art kitchen.

    Although major renovations of the mansion have kept the Staten Island Italian cultural center closed to the public since September, the official opening of “Cucina Colavita,” the facility's culinary school kitchen, certainly marks the beginning of a new era, bringing hands-on instructional cooking classes hosted by guest chefs.
    The kitchen is the heart of a home, and what a marvel of a kitchen it is! Lets start with the location. Situated in Grymes Hill neighborhood of Staten Island, Casa Belvedere, a magnificent historic landmark mansion surrounded by lavish grounds and boasts with rich history, and offers spectacular views of the New York City Harbor and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

    Back in November of 2008, Staten Island residents Gina Biancardi-Rammairone and Luciano Rammairone purchased the mansion with a determination of restoring it to its original grandeur and have since turned it to co an Italian arts and cultural center. The kitchen with its lofty ceiling, stainless steel finish and state of the art cooking equipment is the first step to creating a new destination for enthusiastic home cooks and professionals.

    "This is just the baseline to getting an accredited culinary institution centered on Staten Island," states Gina Biancardi, president of the Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belevedere. “None of this would be possible if it was not for the support of the Colavita family, who has believed in me and this project from the start,” she continued.

    The induction cooktops, a steamer, deep-fryer, grill, pasta cooker, convection ovens, stainless countertops all set among hand-crafted custom cabinetry, perfected to the very last detail is all made possible by the Colavita olive oil company, hence the name “Cucina Colavita.”

    “A trusted family brand,” – a slogan of the company, and it couldn’t have been more true! Present for the official opening of the Cucina Colavita , was the company’s CEO Giovanni Colavita together with his uncle Enrico Colavita, founder of the company and his long time partner and friend John Profaci.

    There is quite an amazing story behind the brand that is now known worldwide, as it distributes their products to over 72 countries. The story begins in Sant’Elia Pianisi, the province of Campobasso back in 1935. A small local company dedicated to olives and olive oil production is born. This small family business soon becomes vital to the local economy offering products, which are based on quality, local agricultural production, and authenticity.

    So how did they conquer the world? Enter John Profaci, an Italian-American businessman whom Enrico Colavita encounters on his honeymoon in America. “I would like to sell my oil in the U.S.,” says Colavita to Profaci. And Profaci replies: “Well, let’s try and see if I can sell it.” A new friendship and partnership is born and the Colavita name begins its American endeavor.

    “First we gave demonstrations in stores, then in restaurants with Italian chefs. This was what they were looking for: quality and taste. Trends in this country do not start in supermarkets but in restaurants, but as long as you have a great product people will buy it.

    Next comes the family bond that we have, we feel that that young generation wants to continue to promote our products and that speaks for itself,” stated Profaci. During the June 30th celebrations of the opening of the Cucina Colavita, Profaci continued to call out from the crowd the vital members responsible for the prosperity of the company and therefore for their generous sponsorships of initiatives such as that of Gina Biancardi. Soon enough it became difficult to capture the whole Colavita-Profaci family in one single photograph.

    It is amazing and very moving to see the support they give to one another and how much they value the family business and most of all the bringing forth of the Italian tradition. “The family spirit is evident in the encouragement and assistance I received from the Colavita brand, ” declared Gina Biancardi.

    The Cucina Colavita will serve the Italian and American community providing interactive cooking sessions with a maximum of 10 students. We wish the Casa Belvedere the same spirits and determination in promoting Italian culture that their major sponsor company has demonstrated in the last decades.

    Click here for more info on cooking classes @ Cucina Colavita. 
    More photos on i-italy Facebook page >>>

  • Art & Culture

    The Three-Dimensionality of The Leopard

    There is a single negative thing about the new Casa Italiana exhibit: that it closes on the 19th of June, leaving only a little time for everyone to see it.

    “The Leap of the Leopard: 1963-2013” is a photographic exhibition which opened last Friday in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Luchino Visconti's masterpiece film Il Gattopardo. On view for this special occasion are the photographs taken by Ralph Toporoff on the set of the film fifty years ago. Also on display are two original film posters, made available by Posteritati.

    During the exhibit opening last Friday, the photographer turned cinematographer, Ralph Toporoff, was present to share his memories of the days spent on the set of the film. He passionately recounted the hot Sicillian summer nights responsible for shaping his future work as a cinematographer.

    Toporoff stated: “I watched [Visconti] work and that was an incredible experience for a twenty year old photographer, and in the end [it] has greatly influenced my take on making motion pictures.” The photographer truly cherishes every bit of time spent on the set of what may be Italian cinema’s greatest work to date. A masterpiece that to this day remains a reference to cinematographers, even fifty years post-production.

    Toporoff explored the late 2000's obsession with the idea of three-dimensional films, the time when all the cameras were being converted to 3D, emphasizing the 3D qualities of a movie made a half a century ago: “If you want to talk about a 3D movie, take Il Gattopardo, now that’s a true three-dimensional movie! It had plot, it had character, it had actors, it had substance, it had story and to me this is the essence of a 3D film…. Is the mechanical device of the actual 3D important? In the overall scheme of things, (and as I spent 25 years as a cinematographer and can tell you that 3D is just a tool) when you talk about 3D movies you should talk about movies like this one and not Avatar.”

    The photographer reminisced about the hot summer nights and eventful days spent on the set of the film and proudly explained the behind the scenes of the photographs awaiting viewing upstairs. The intimate setting of Casa Italiana is the perfect venue for this extraordinary collection of photographs. The snug and warm atmosphere of the Casa adds to the clandestine feeling brought on by the behind-the-scenes peek into the work of art that is known as "The Leopard." 

    Make sure you free up your calendars in the upcoming weeks and see this amazing collection, in existence only due to a typical Italian delay during the travels of a then twenty-year-old American reportage photographer.

    The exhibit remains on view from June 2 - June 19, 2013 and is open Mon-Fri 10-5.
    Visit Casa Italiana's website for more info >>>

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    The Neapolitan Dream Team

    A Greenwich Village spot, Ribalta has undergone quite a transformation since its acquisition by the Neapolitan dream team of Rosario Procino and Pasquale Brigante Cozzolino, two friends who not only share a passion for soccer, but also demonstrate a particular fervor for their native city of Naples.

    It is this devotion that has led to a Neapolitanization of the old Ribalta. This young and vibrant Neapolitan duo has focused on creating true Neapolitan ambience, and they now delight their clientele with a genuine regional menu. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Naples, you’re sure to remember its beautiful churches, picturesque street scenes, and especially the rich, heady cuisine.

    Chef Pasquale has cooked for years in Italy for international celebrities such as U2, Coldplay, Laura Pausini, and Eros Ramazzotti, and now he’s showing off his talent at Ribalta. Wanting the customer to fully appreciate the artisanal aspect of his pasta, he makes all of the pasta in house, thanks to the newly imported Dominioni pasta machine.

    “Even the bread we serve is made from scratch,” Pasquale proudly shares, pointing to a tiny tag clipped to the bread basket that reads “homemade.” Beginning with appetizers, the new menu immediately demonstrates its Neapolitan influence: melanzane al funghetto (fried eggplant in tomato sauce), zuppa di cozze (mussel soup in spicy tomato sauce), and octopus carpaccio in lemon sauce.

    Many of the pasta dishes feature the freshest seafood, including nero di seppia (homemade spaghetti with calamari in a squid ink and Barolo wine sauce) and spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams). Yet the most Neapolitan dish of all is ziti alla Genovese (ziti served with slow-cooked veal and onion ragù). So why is it called Genovese? There’s an old story behind this dish that chef Pasquale will gladly share with you.

    Still the star of the place is the pizza with its dough made in the most traditional way using natural yeast, a stem of which has been brought from Italy and is more than 85 years old. In this process a piece of the dough is always saved from the daily batch and gets refreshed to be used continuously, a tradition which generates a more fragrant, delicate, light and easily digestible dough.

    This focus on the creation of most traditional Neapolitan dough is of even more importance when Ribalta’s new mission is to abolish the myth created around the possibility to use only few chosen toppings for the pizza to remain Neapolitan. “We are opening the door to creativity”- says Rosario- “In Naples you can find pizza with infinite toppings, even one with wurstel and fries, and it doesn’t make it any less Neapolitan!”

    Ribalta is not only offering the best of Neapolitan cuisine, but it is also far from the image of decadent, dark, wooden décor of what many associate with the décor of Italian eateries. It is bright, clean, spacious and innovative just like Italy of today. So head over and get Neapolitanized at Ribalta.

    RIBALTA
    48 E 12th St  Manhattan, NY 10003
    (212) 777-7781

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    Antica Pesa: Do as the Romans Do

    Among the various neighborhoods of Italy’s capital, Trastevere is perhaps the
 most charismatic, known for
 its medieval structures and delightful cobblestone streets. The area’s name literally refers to its location “beyond” (tras) 
or on the other side of the
 Tiber River (Tevere). That is 
the perfect getaway from the bustling crowds surrounding Rome’s major landmarks.

    In New York, visitors and natives who are familiar with the “tourist trap” restaurants that line the impenetrable streets of Manhattan can do as the Romans do and cross over to Williamsburg, the city’s “Tras- East River.” Indeed, anyone yearning to indulge in a typical Roman dining experience should become acquainted with Brooklyn’s Antica Pesa, replete with ambiance and cuisine crafted to resemble its Italian sister restaurant.

    Not only is the area appropriately rich in Italian heritage, its charming yet cool vibe is reminiscent of Rome’s Trastevere. The owners paid close attention to reproducing a similar feel. The restaurant’s décor gives the interior space a fresh and modern look with a cozy, yet subtle New York elegance.

    What steals the show, however, is the combination of welcoming servers and delicious, simple food. The accommodating and attentive service in this Roman establishment further reminds diners of the restaurant’s warm, Italian roots.

    Each meal begins with a box of warm bread that recalls the tradition of serving bread and wine to peasants. Diners have at their disposal a menu filled with typically Roman dishes, such as the cacio e pepe pasta plate, a blend of earthy flavors that make the trip across the bridge seem as if you were transported to Rome.

    ------
    Antica Pesa
    115 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY
    (347) 763-2635 http://www.anticapesa.us/

  • Life & People

    American Endeavors of Biagio Antonacci

    His name has been on top of Italian charts for decades. His success can be measured by millions of CDs sold throughout the years. Last year, Italian singer-songwriter Biagio Antonacci released his fifteenth CD, “Sapessi dire no,” that soared to the top of Italian music charts, namely FIMI/Gfk, and held firmly onto first place for twelve long weeks.

    His work as songwriter is also well noted - he wrote the song “Vivimi” for Laura Pausini - a song which quickly became known worldwide. In 2011 he became the only Italian artist to receive permission to perform a pop concert in the capital’s most famous landmark, the Colosseum. All of this acts as a testimony to Bagio Antonacci’s fame in his motherland, and although it has been eight years since he received the prize for World's Best-Selling Italian Male Artist at the World Music Awards in Los Angeles,  it is not until recently that he has begun to shift the focus of his career to the American market.

    Just last month, “Sapessi dire no” has become available in the United States, not only as a digital download, but also in CD format on shelves of Barnes & Noble Bookstores and for mail order on Amazon.com. Similarly to the Italian version, the US cover is adorned with an illustration by a famous comic artist Milo Manara and contains fourteen tracks featured on the Italian version of the album, all written by Antonacci.

    The album is a wonderful representation of Antonacci’s personality as well as his artistic possibilities. From classical ballads such as “Sono stato inamorato” and “Dormi nel cuore,” to powerful rock performances of “Senza un nome” and “Con infinito onore,” a new listener is presented with a window into the soul of the artist and the talent responsible for Biagio’s long and successful career. The collection also includes intimate pieces “Ti dedico tutto” and “Ciao Tristezza,” where Antonacci reveals a very personal and poetic side, performing to his own piano accompaniment.

    What is a better way to celebrate 25 years of a successful musical career than with multiple surprises for his devoted fans across the Atlantic? The challenge that is upon Biagio’s shoulders is to reach the American audience and create a new, quite diverse group of fans in the US, and he has a great chance of doing that beginning with his passionate and rhythmic hit “Non vivo piu’ senza te,” which will make anyone dance and sing along, even if they don’t speak Italian!

    We caught up with Biagio Antonacci to ask him a few questions about his new American endeavor.

    If you were to present Biagio Antonacci to the American public that does not know him (at least not well) how would you describe him?

    A regular person, a singer and songwriter, first of all. I emphasize this strongly. He sings what he writes, he’s a modern storyteller, because his music possesses a number of very specific rhythms. It has had many faces: pop, rock, acoustic, and Latin. He is also a person who loves music and likes to know that someone outside of the beautiful Italy listens to his music.

    You have received the Award of World's Best-Selling Italian Male Artist at the World Music Awards in Los Angeles in 2005, this is a great achievement, however being a songwriter you certainly realize the importance of understanding the meaning of song lyrics.

    Very much so… it’s essential for a songwriter...  

    Because you sing in Italian, do you think it will be difficult to reach the American public, which for the most part speaks only English?

    Yes, I know. It 's very difficult, but I think of how many of us in Italy have always loved British and American music, and for many years we listened to it without understanding the lyrics, because we liked the musicality of the English language with the music, and Italian is a language that has wonderful musicality. I hope that Americans, while listening to my music, and to the sound of my words, will become intrigued and will take the trouble to translate the lyrics, which truly in today’s technologically advanced world, in the age of the internet, translation from one language to another is quite easy. I would like very much that they know what my lyrics mean, what I am saying. I hope that they will have this kind of patience. I hope that what will reach them first is my music and the musicality of my voice, and then they will arrive at the complete understanding of my lyrics and my message.

    Have you ever visited New York? Your fans want to know when will you come to NY? Are there any concerts planned in the States?

    Yes, once, but I have never performed in New York. I think I've never considered it before, having so many commitments in Italy, it never even occurred to me to perform outside of Italy, simply due to the lack of time I believe. Now I’m becoming curious of the world outside of Italy, and in fact I can tell you that we are planning a small tour in the US and Canada surely stopping in New York City, because I want the Italians who live there, the Italian-Americans and all the Italophiles to have the possibility to get to know me and my music. I receive a lot of e-mails, messages and fan letters from all over the Americas asking me when will I have a concert in their country. Tell my New York fans that I promise to have a concert there before the end of the year. I hope to meet many of my fans who live there. I really am looking forward to singing together the hits of my over twenty-year old musical career.

    Since you are preparing some concerts here, are you ready to return to the club scene from the maybe more prestigious stadium venues?

    Of course I am ready! I started in clubs! I started in small clubs and have arrived at the biggest stadiums. I think it’s crucial, coming to America to start in smaller venues, my career there is just starting, therefore small clubs are the right places to start from. One should always start from small things and grow, just as it has happened to my career here in Italy. I think it will be more intimate, it will allow me to once again find that intimacy with my audience that has been lost in Italy, due to the fact that I perform in large venues. I must say that I am curious of what that will feel like…

    Is there a particular place in New York where you would like to perform at?

    I am not familiar with New York’s club scene, but one of my dreams would be to play at the Apollo Theater. It’s a larger venue so maybe this year I would start in a small club and next year the Apollo! The Apollo is the place where the biggest music stars have performed, Americans as well as others from all over the world.

    Describe your normal day for us…

    I wake up early, around 7 am, because I often take my kids to school, I have two kids and I like taking them to school in the mornings. Then I usually do some sort of exercises, I jog. In the afternoon I usually try to read or I write poetry. I don’t read many books, but when I read it’s always poetry. Then of course there is some time I have to dedicate to business purposes, and when I have free time I spend it at home, attending to my garden. At times when I’m in my country home in Romagna, I ride around the property on my tractor, I have a vineyard, I make my own olive oil…. I play farmer a bit… Then in the evening I go to bed early because, I sleep four/five hours tops and I wake up early… That’s basically my typical day.

    Is there something particular on the new CD released in the US that the American audience may particularly relate to or enjoy?

    I think this CD presents a remarkable freshness in the music, in the melody, a freshness that is simply wonderful and strong. There is a specific piece on the CD, which is the Pizzica Salentina piece [Non vivo piu’ senza te], which had an enormous success here in Italy, staying at top of music charts for weeks in 2012. I am convinced that this song will make all Americans dance.

    We all wish you great success and hope to see you in New York very soon. Thank you!

    Thank you, and see you across the Atlantic soon!

    Biagio is keeping his promise to his North American fans and is coming to perform in New York City this May. 

    Click here to buy tickets for his concert at the Highline Ballroom in NY. 

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    A Chef’s Journey to the East

    Don’t be surprised when walking on Madison Avenue, checking email on your smartphone, you suddenly look up and find yourself in front of Salumeria Rosi. No, you didn’t just get transported to the Upper West Side. The successful shop, supplying New Yorkers with the finest Italian salumi for the past few years has opened a second Manhattan location.

    What’s different about this place that may lure west siders to the east side location? Perhaps it’s the addition of a full service, upscale restaurant that contrasts the tapas-style dining of the crosstown location. Here the deli counter transforms into a bar, which hugs a professional espresso machine and wraps around to the opening of the dining area, where white cloth draped tables are elegantly set with a rosemary branch adding the final touch to each plate.

     Chef Cesare Casella, native of Tuscany, unleashes his full, magical potential in leading the kitchen staff. “Here, we present an elegant, a more sophisticated dining experience. This location is different than the west side just as the neighborhood is different,” Casella tells us. “The quality of the products remains the same, but because we serve full portions here, I can offer items such as porcini mushrooms and truffles; that’s not the case at the west side location,” Casella continues.

    Chef Casella describes the menu as a journey, which can be compared to the trajectory of his career. The menu starts off with traditional dishes, ones that Chef Casella remembers making back in Lucca, and continues through the dishes he has invented after arriving in New York. Chef Casella is known for his dedication and use of the freshesst ingredients and his herb-infused cuisine, and to remind everyone of his dedication his pocket is always dressed with a fresh and aromatic rosemary spring. 

    Let the masterfully designed interior (by three-time Oscar winning designer Dante Ferretti) with its frescoed walls and statues inspired by ancient Rome transport you to Italy for one evening. 

    Come in and take an Italian journey with Chef Casella’s cooking career at Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto Upper East Side.

  • Facts & Stories

    Launching 2013 — The Year of Italian Culture

    The inauguration of 2013 - The Year of Italian Culture in the United States took place on Wednesday, December 12th 2012, in Washington D.C., where during a press conference held at the National Gallery of Art, an official calendar of events to take place during this remarkable year presenting the innovative, forward moving Italy, was released.

    Guilio Terzi di Sant’Agata, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, did the honors of opening the yearlong celebration, organized  by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Italy in Washington, in collaboration with the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali and with the support of the Corporate Ambassadors Intesa Sanpaolo and Eni. The aim of this initiative is to showcase the best of Italian arts and culture in some forty major American cities, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco, just to name a few.

    Foreign Minister Terzi proudly stated: “Research, discovery, and innovation are keys to understanding the spirit of the Year of Italian Culture in the United States. This project, organized under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, aims at showcasing Italian creativity and culture both in our artistic heritage and in our “Made in Italy,” pointing up how contemporary excellence rests on cultural foundations spanning the Classical age and the Renaissance up to present times. The Year also highlights Italy’s most advanced achievements in science and technology, bearing witness to the growing role that these fields of cooperation play in the development of Italy-U.S. relations: aware of our invaluably rich cultural past, the focus is on our future, a future which we intend to build on a more and more intense dialogue and exchange with our long-standing partners, among which the United States is paramount.”

    In the message from the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, read during the inauguration ceremony, Napolitano states: “The artistic value of the events that will take place and the importance of the partnership between Italian and American institutions in bringing them to fruition are epitomized in Michelangelo's David-Apollo, which will usher in the program at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, a sanctuary of culture.”

    Michealangelo’s David-Apollo, a true artistic gem, has been brought to the United States from Florence, to be unveiled during the opening ceremony and will remain on exhibition until March 2013 at the National Gallery of Art.

    Minister Terzi emphasized the significance of this exclusive occasion by stating: “Michelangelo’s David-Apollo, in particular, is emblematic of the relationship between our two countries. The National Gallery in Washington displayed the sculpture for the first time in 1949 at the inaugural reception for President Harry Truman. It was on loan from the Bargello Museum in Florence as a sign of Italy’s gratitude to the United States for the assistance it provided in the post-war period. Today the David-Apollo is back at the National Gallery to launch the Year of Italian Culture in the U.S. and to be admired by new generations of visitors.”

    It is this new generation that will receive particular attention during the Year of Italian Culture in the US stated Minister Terzi: “Our special concern and most urgent commitment go toward the younger generations in our two countries: our initiative addresses them as both main actors and privileged participants and looks at them as the long-term beneficiaries of the dynamic impulse to mutual relations which is the main objective of the Year.”

    The concept of 2013 as a showcase of Italian culture and excellence and what it means to the American public, gives an opportunity to promote Italy as a whole, its cultural aspects as well as the economic features of the Italian Brand. Presenting culture not only in its traditional form of historical and artistic legacy, but as a dynamic asset that gives value to the whole system, strategically affirms the Italian system from the perspective of cultural economy.

    Ambassador of Italy in Washington DC,  Claudio Bisogniero called the collaboration on this project between Italian and American institutions “the best possible assurance that 2013 will fulfill its promise of further consolidating the bilateral relations between Italy and the United States, reaffirming the statement made by President Obama in his recent Columbus Day Proclamation and underscored by Secretary of State Clinton during her last meeting here in Washington with Minister Terzi.”

    The inauguration festivities continued throughout the day in Washington D.C., and included a meeting between Foreign Minister Terzi and the Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, followed by a press briefing. He then went on to meet with Senior United States Senator, John Kerry, and later in the afternoon joined Ambassadors Claudio Bisognero and Marisa Lino at the Italian Embassy for the presentation of an English version of the book Il Palazzo sul Potomac. The Italian Embassy in Washington.

    The day came to a close back at the National Gallery, where dignitaries and guests were invited to a reception held at the West Sculpture Hall, where remarks were made by the Director of the Gallery, Earl Powell III, Minister Terzi and the honorable Nancy Pelosi, after which guests were able to view Michelangelo’s David-Apollo statue.

    As stated in the letter from the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano: “The Year of Italian Culture in the United States represents a commitment to further strengthen the longstanding and solid friendship between our two countries. In 2011, the celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification, which met with great success also in the United States, have spurred significant reflection on our common roots and cultural ideals. 2013 will allow us to look at the present and the future. To the Italy of innovation, creativity, science, and technology.

    Minister Terzi highlited some of the events scheduled for the course of next year:  “2013 will also mark the Bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth. Maestro Riccardo Muti and Maestro Maurizio Pollini will perform in some of America’s premier theaters and concert halls as will our jazz virtuosos. Cinema and photography will play a leading role at festivals and exhibitions across the country. In the sciences, Italy will display its cutting edge technology, from “science parks” to robotic surgery. The internationally renowned furniture by Gio Ponti as well as Barrique, a project that transforms disassembled barrel staves into works of art, will showcase the ingenuity of innovative Italian design. Young people will benefit from interuniversity projects and new fellowships on both shores. Academic institutions will celebrate the 700th anniversary of Boccaccio’s birth as well as the 500th of Machiavelli’s The Prince. Verses by our most famous poets will be displayed on Washington buses and a new App will help Americans find the nearest location for courses in Italian.”

    To join in the celebration of 2013- The Year of Italian Culture in the United States click HERE to visit the website of events or follow on Twitter #2013ItalianYear.

  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    November - I Love Umbria Month

    Despite all the difficult circumstances brought upon New York City residents by hurricane Sandy, their spirits seem to be on a rise as they work on returning to their pre-storm routines and slowly regain stability.

    Businesses and vendors reopen their doors and welcome the public with open arms and wide smiles on their faces. Events start to show up at different venues and everyone, while trying to help those less fortunate, is returning to their routines and beginning to look for things to do and places to go.

    Eataly, being located in the Flatiron district, has also experienced difficulties due to the lack of heating and electricity and remained closed for a period of time. It has since  reopened and although with a week's delay, during one of their first events has officially proclaimed the month of November as "I love Umbria Month." 

    Eataly's Executive Chef Alex Pilas prepared traditional Umbrian menu for the press luncheon, while Dan Amatuzzi,  Eataly's wine director took the members of the press on a wine journey with tasting of Umbria's numerous wines, which perfectly accompanied the traditional cuisine.

    In the world of wine, Italy’s Umbria region has continuously been overshadowed by Tuscany, the region of Italy most people are familiar with. Marco Caprai, who back in 1989, at the age of 21 followed his passion and took charge of the family wine estate, Arnaldo Caprai nd is currently the leading producer of Sagrantino di Montefalco wines, wants to put Umbria firmly on Italy’s map. While speaking with the press he made it clear, that it is the sagrantino grape, which is genetically unique and indigenous to the Montefalco district of Umbria that can make the region stand out from the shadows of Tuscany and its world famous Chianti.

    The co-founder of Eataly's Marketplace, and the son of a renown restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, Joe Bastianich has presented to the members of the press an official proclamation signed by the New York City' Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In it Bloomberg named the month of November 2012 as the official month celebrating the Green Heart of Italy, the region of Umbria.

    In the proclamation, Mayor Bloomberg also expressed his appreciation for New York City's Italian immigrants, stating: "We will also often pause to recognize how residents of Italian descent have left such a lasting mark on New York. Italians customs and traditions have greatly enhanced our daily lives and strengthened our economy, contributing to every facet of our city in the process. As we celebrate the glories of Umbrian culture, we also celebrate all of the Italian-Americans who have worked hard to make this the greatest city in the world."
     

    Multiple cultural events, relating to the food, wines, music and artisan products of Umbria took place in various areas of the city throughout the month of November, but since the program extends to the month of December, due to the encountered storm delays, there is still time to join in on the fun. 

    Here is a list of events still to come:
     

    Friday, November 23, 2012

    Tasting: Drinking the Wines of Umbria

    6 – 8 PM

    Eataly Vino -  200 5th Avenue (Entrance on 23rd)

    Free event

    Wine: Tabarrini Giampaolo

               

    Saturday, November 24, 2012

    Eccellenze Tasting in La Piazza (regional wine and cheese pairings)

    12 – 8 PM

    Eataly – 200 5th Avenue (Entrance on 23rd)

    Free event
    (consumers may purchase a tasting pour of wine & regional cheese at a discounted price)

    Wine: Tabarrini Giampaolo

               

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    Chef’s Kitchen: Food and Wines of Umbria

    6:30 – 8PM

    La Scuola Grande at Eataly – 200 5th Avenue (Entrance on 23rd)
    Price: $60 Click here to register
    Menu: Frittata al Tartufo (Truffle Frittata), Zuppa Umbra (Lentil and Cereal Soup), Torta Umbra all’Olio d’Oliva & Gelato (Olive Oil Cake & Gelato)
Wine: Giorgio Lungarotti

               

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    Chef’s Kitchen: Food and Wines of Umbria

    6:30 – 8 PM

    La Scuola Grande at Eataly– 200 5th Avenue (Entrance on 23rd)
    Price: $60  Click here to register 

    Menu: Crostini di Lenticchie (Lentil Crostini), Strangozzi con Burro al Tartufo (Strangozzi Pasta with Truffle Butter), Torta Umbra all’Olio d’Oliva & Gelato (Olive Oil Cake & Gelato)

               

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Tasting: Drinking the Wines of Umbria

    6 – 8 PM

    Eatlay Vino - 200 5th Avenue (Entrance on 23rd)

    Free event

    Wines: Cantina Tudernum, Tenuta Rocca di Fabbri, Terre Margaritelli

               

    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Eccellenze Tasting in La Piazza (regional wine and cheese pairings)

    12 – 8 PM

    Eataly - 200 5th Avenue (Entrance on 23rd)

    Free event
    (consumers may purchase a tasting pour of wine & regional cheese at a discounted price)

    Wines: Cantina Tudernum, Tenuta Rocca di Fabbri, Terre Margaritelli

    Make sure to check out the numerous ongoing promotions at Eataly. Have fun discovering the foods and wines of Umbria, the Green heart of Italy!

  • Life & People

    Italian Haven at the Williamsburg Waterfront


    The ever-changing Williamsburg waterfront gets its own Italian haven. Blending into the cultivated rustic, industrial neighborhood is Alberto Baudo’s new Restaurant and Bar Fabbrica, which with its ironclad exterior, seventeen foot ceilings and rugged interior design could easily be mistaken for a remainder from the bygone manufacture days of Brooklyn.


    The all Italian staff awaits at the bar 
    Detail of the "Cenacolo" communal table 
    Fabbrica's Executive Chef

    Simone Bonelli 

    First Customers @ Fabbrica

    (pics by I.A)
    The visceral wood flooring greets the customers, lured inside by the sumptuous aroma of fresh brewed coffee and in-house baked pastries as it dances in the air and enchants the olfactory senses of passer-byes leading them straight to the Lavazza coffee counter, craftily built into the sinewy division structure serving as wine storage as well as division between the café and dining area of the establishment. Same edifice incorporates the u-shaped bar, which wraps around it finishing on the dining side of the restaurant.
     


    An award-winning firm Ogawa-Depardon is behind the aesthetics of the locale, and has chosen to fill the dining area with refectory style tables and stools. Some low-key seating runs along the wall, which proudly exhibits a mural by a local artist Olalekan Jeyifous, aka LEk, who cleverly combined visual elements of the industrial area’s past with the Italian Futurist style of its execution. Low hanging, naked, wired lighting, designed by Victor Garbarino, add subtle glow to the magical ambience of this new neighborhood gem.
     


    Still, the main focus remains on the large communal table set in the center of the locale inviting patrons to strike up a conversation while observing the stage like, open kitchen area set to exhibit the artful skills of the young Executive Chef Simone Bonelli formerly of Modena’s Three-Michelin-Star Osteria Francescana, where he has perfected the art of molecular cooking and mastered the slow-food concept, which identifies a strong bond between plate, planet, people and culture.
     


    Fabbrica is a member of Slow Food ©, an international organization with a mission to promote “good, clean and fair food for all.” Slow Food © further defines these three interconnected principals as follows: “GOOD a fresh and flavorsome seasonal diet that satisfies the senses and is part of our local culture; CLEAN food production and consumption that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; FAIR accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for small-scale producers.” 
     



    Chef Bonelli’s menu revolves around fresh local ingredients combined in an inventive way with the finest of imported Italian delicacies producing dishes such as Coniglio alle Olive ~ Ligurian style braised rabbit, served with soft polenta, taggiasca olives, puntarelle, pine nuts, and raisins, or Crème Brulee di Parmigiano, which has already been awarded 2 stars by the renown chief restaurant critic, Frank Bruni. 
     


    We can only stay tuned to the surprises Chef Bonelli’s talented hands have prepared for us. The menu has numerous salads and appetizers inviting consumers to stop by not only dinner but also a light lunch. Chef Michele Marconi, formerly of Bice and La Grenouille will be delighting the neighborhood with his selection of in-house prepared daily pastries, and the café section will soon be offering bread and artisan gelato. Stop in at anytime of day and tickle your taste buds with some of the best flavors of Italy. 
     
     
     

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