Pizzerias

Brief History of Neapolitan Pizza in New York

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Pizza Stand 

NAPOLI

 

Until about 1830, pizza was sold from open-air stands and out of pizza bakeries, and pizzerias keep this old tradition alive today. It is possible to enjoy paper-wrapped pizza and a drink sold from open-air stands outside the premises. Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba in Naples is widely regarded as the city’s first pizzeria.

Purists, like the famous pizzeria “Da Michele” in Via C. Sersale (founded 1870), consider there to be only two true pizzas—the marinara and the margherita—and that is all they serve. These two “pure” pizzas are the ones preferred by many Italians today.

The marinara is the older of the two and has a topping of tomato, oregano, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. It is named “marinara” because it was traditionally the food prepared by “la marinara”, the seaman’s wife, for her seafaring husband when he returned from fishing trips in the Bay of Naples.

The margherita is topped with modest amounts of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. It is widely attributed to baker Raffaele Esposito, who worked at “Pizzeria di Pietro”, established in 1880. Though recent research casts doubt on this legend, the tale holds that, in 1889, he baked three different pizzas for the visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The Queen’s favorite was a pizza evoking the colors of the Italian flag—green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella), and red (tomatoes). According to the tale, this combination was named Pizza Margherita in her honor. Although those were the most preferred, today there are many variations of pizzas.

 

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Waiter Delivering PIZZA at Antica Port Alba Pizzeria

NAPOLI

First established in 1738 as a stand for peddlers, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba was opened in 1830 in the town center at Via Port’Alba 18. The restaurant replaced street vendors who would make pizza in wood-fired ovens and bring it onto the street, keeping it warm in small tin stoves they balanced on their head.  It soon became a prominent meeting place for men in the street. Most patrons were artists, students, or others with very little money, so the pizzas made were generally simple, with toppings such as oil and garlic.[5] A payment system, called pizza a otto, was developed that allowed customers to pay up to eight days after their meal. A resulting local joke was that a meal from Port’Alba might be someone’s last free meal, if they died before they paid.[5] Additionally, patrons created poetry to honor the pizzas. Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is still in business today, located between a number of bookstores. It is widely believed to be the world’s first pizzeria.

 

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Julia Roberts Eats Pizza

At Da MICEHLE 

NAPOLI  2010

 

 

NEW YORK PIZZA

 

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LOMBARDI’S

Anthony Pero, Dog, and Gennaro Lombardi

1905
The FIRST EVER PIZZA in AMERICA

 

Pizza first made its appearance in the United States with the arrival of Italian immigrants in the late 19th century and was very popular among large Italian populations in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Saint Louis. In the late 19th century, pizza was introduced by peddlers who walked up and down the streets with a metal washtub of pizzas on their heads, selling their pizzas at two cents a slice. It was not long until small cafes and groceries began offering pizzas to their Italian American communities.

The first printed reference to “pizza” served in the US is a 1904 article in The Boston Journal.Giovanni and Gennaro Bruno came to America from Naples, Italy in 1903 to introduce the Neapolitan Pizza.[ Vincent (Jimmy) Bruno (Giovanni’s son) went on to open the first pizzeria in The Loop in Chicago at 421 S. Wabash Avenue, the Yacht Club. Gennaro Lombardi opened a grocery store in 1897 which was later established as the “said” first pizzeria in America in 1905 with New York’s issuance of the mercantile license. An employee of his, Antonio Totonno Pero, began making pizza for the store to sell that same year. The price for a pizza was five cents, but since many people could not afford the cost of a whole pie, they would instead say how much they could pay and they were given a slice corresponding to the amount offered. In 1924, Totonno left Lombardi’s to open his own pizzeria on Coney Island called Tottono. While the original Lombardi’s closed its doors in 1984, it was reopened in 1994 just down the street and is run by Lombardi’s grandson.

 

 

Tottonno

TOTTONO’S

Neptune Avenue

CONEY ISLAND

BROOKLYN , NEW YORK

 

1903 – Anthony (Totonno) Pero comes to America and begins working at Lombardi’s in Little Italy.

1924 – Totonno’s opens in Coney Island. Totonno marries Antoinette Coppola, who become the parents of Pasquale (Freddy), Aida– Totonno’s love for the Opera– (Edith), Julia, and Gennaro (Jerry).  Jerry was taught to make pies in the 1950’s, when Totonno became ill, and remained the sole pie maker until the 1990’s. Freddy worked the kitchen, and Julia, the front end of the restaurant.  Edith was the only sibling to marry and have three children (Cookie, Frankie, and Annette), and she worked for some years on weekends. 

 

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SUNDAY SAUCE

WHEN ITALIAN-AMERICANS COOK

Daniel Bellino “Z”

 

 

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PATSY’S

 

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Patsy’s Pizzeria

East Harlem , NEW YORK

Circa 1940s

 

Patsy’s Pizzeria first opened it’s New York City location at 2287-91 1st Avenue in 1933, having been the dream of a pair of immigrant newlyweds Pasquale ‘Patsy’ and Carmella Lancieri. Patsy’s Pizzeria quickly established itself as a family style, old-fashioned neighborhood restaurant. patsy Pizzeria catered to the growing population of Italian immigrants who longed for the cuisine of their homeland in a casual family style atmosphere. 

Almost immediately, the atmosphere, style and cuisine at Patsy’s Pizzeria began attracting many popular and famous personalities. Luminaries like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett became regulars. In addition, its prime uptown location made it a convenient stop for famous Yankees such as Phil Rizzutto, Joe Dimaggio and Yogi Berra. Patsy Lancieri had developed a huge following and East Harlem was now *the* place to go.

In the early 1970’s, Patsy’s Pizzeria became the late-night haunt of Francis Ford Coppola who used it’s ambiance to shape his actor’s performances in his blockbuster film The Godfather. As a result, the restaurant has been used numerous times as a period location and backdrop for many movies, employing many East Harlem residents in the process.

Even in a city known for pie-slinging royalty and decades-old pizzerias, Patsy’s Pizzeria  remains a standout. Started in 1933 by Pasquale “Patsy” Lancieri and his wife, Carmella, as a simple pizzeria and clam bar in New York City’s Italian-dominated East Harlem, the concept immediately took off, thanks to its then-innovative concept of selling slices.

“When people come to New York, this is still their first stop.”

 

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Old Picture inside PATSY’S

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FRANK SINATRA at PATY’S PIZZERIA

Frank Sinatra with Pasquale “Patsy” Lancieri

PATSY’S PIZZERIA

EAST HARLEM

NEW YORK

 

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“OUR FAVORITE PIZZA in TOWN”

The Great Dom DeMarco Cranks Out Another “Masterpiece”

At His Famed Pizzeria “DiFara Pizza”

AVENUE J

BROOKLYN , NEW YORK

 

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MANGIA ITALIANO

Read About PIZZA

In NEW YORK & NAPOLI

in MANGIA ITALIANO

by Daniel Bellino “Z”

 

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NEW YORK PIZZ HISTORY

John Travolta

Eats a Double Decker

Two Slices of Pizza

One Over The Other

At LENNY’S PIZZA

BROOKLYN , NEW YORK

Filming of “SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER”

1977

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“Two , I’ll take Two.”

 

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Tribute to “Ol BLUE EYES”

FRANK SINATRA

PATSY’S PIZZERIA

NEW YORK

 

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Joltin Joe DiMaggio

“That Famous Swing”

Then after the Game, it might Be of to PATSY’S for Joe’s favorite PIZZA”

 

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