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The Arthur Avenue Cookbook: Recipes and Memories from the Real Little Italy [Hardcover]

Ann Volkwein

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Book Description

Aug. 5 2004

Arthur Avenue winds its way through the heart of theBronx. Known to many as the "real Little Italy," the storiedArthur Avenue neighborhood has been home to a vibrantcommunity of Italian-Americans for over a hundred years.Today, this area continues to thrive as visitors and residents stopto buy a fresh, crusty loaf of bread; to enjoy a meal at Mario'sRestaurant; to dawdle for a while at Randazzo's raw bar on a warmsummer afternoon; or to hear Mike's Deli owner Michele Grecobelt out an aria from Rigoletto and spellbind his customers withtales of the Avenue's past.

Now, for the first time, the residents of Arthur Avenue inviteyou to experience the magic of their kitchens and share theflavors of their family tables. Passed down through generations,their delicious recipes are time-tested, tried, and true -- and readyfor any kitchen. They include:

• Sicilian Baked Ziti • Yankee Stadium Big Boy (The Grecofamily's famous grinder that was rated one of the best in the cityby the New York Times) • Osso Buco • Olive Ciabatta • Italian RicottaCheesecake • Cannoli • and more

The Arthur Avenue Cookbook also invites you to savor the memoriesof the neighborhood's most colorful residents, restaurateurs, andshop owners, and those of their families -- many of whom havelived in the neighborhood since it first came into being. MeetMario Borgatti, the noodle maker who has been there for morethan eighty-five years. Anthony Artuso, Sr., takes his bakerybusiness so seriously that he went seventeen years without avacation -- in part, to ensure that each bride and groom got theperfect wedding cake. And Mike Rella, president of the ArthurAvenue Retail Market, remembers learning English by workingin a butcher shop, where he's now a partner with his uncle PeterServedio.

This cookbook also provides a guide to the pastry shops, delis,restaurants, and other famous and lesser-known gems that lineArthur Avenue. Gorgeous photographs, extraordinary characters,and enticing dishes make The Arthur Avenue Cookbook an irresistibleaddition to any kitchen.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (Aug. 5 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060567155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060567156
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #584,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ann Volkwein is a food and lifestyle writer in New York City.Currently the features manager for AOL CityGuide, she holds acertificate from the Institute for Culinary Education andformerly worked as a culinary producer for the Food Network.She is a frequent contributor to Gotham magazine and a contributingeditor for Explorers Journal. Her previous books include NewYork's 50 Best Places to Have Brunch and, coauthored with Luiz Ratto,The Healthy Table.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal Jan. 18 2005
By Dewey Square - Published on
Just like Arthur Avenue, this book is the real deal. It offers up a collection of authentic Italian-American recipes that are perfect for everyday meals and informal entertaining. It sits on my shelf between Patricia Wells and Marcella, having quickly become one of those few cookbooks that I use all the time. The recipes are well-crafted and easy to follow, the dishes unfussy and delicious. It is also a beautifully designed book that captures the flavor and history of Arthur Avenue.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good memories and good food Sept. 3 2005
By E. Amella - Published on
Having worked in the Bronx for many years, I always knew where the REAL Little Italy was located - on Arthur Avenue. The pictures and stories of the neighborhood in this delightful book bring back wonderful memories of a place that still serves the best Italian food in NYC. The book was given to me as a gift and I have begun working my way through the recipes. All are delightful and not difficult to follow although take longer than some of the trendy cookbooks that purport to share 'geniune' Italian fare. These are not always simple recipes, but always generate wonderful meals. For me taste is everything, so if I have to take a little more time and dirty a few more pots, it's worth it to have that truly geniune Arthur Avenue taste. Brava, brava, Ann!
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Avenue is the REAL Little Italy Nov. 13 2006
By Jesse Kornbluth - Published on
"This is your world, I'm just temporary." So said the waiter at Mario's on Saturday night, misquoting the old line about Sinatra ("It's Frank's world, we're just living in it") as we settled in to a corner booth. We were with two four-and-a-half year-old girls who were capable of timing out at any moment. Not a promising group. Then we remembered: Mario's is family-friendly. And our guilt at taking up valuable table space on a Saturday night melted quickly away.

But then, we weren't in New York City.

There is a Little Italy in Manhattan, and we have been there. So have you, if you've ever been a tourist in New York and have already crossed Times Square off your list. That Little Italy is noisy and friendly and mildly amusing, and if you are lucky enough to pick a restaurant that doesn't get its red sauce from some central pipeline, you can get a decent meal there.

But it doesn't compare to Arthur Avenue.

Arthur Avenue is in the Bronx, near Fordham University and the Zoo. For a Manhattanite, it's a field trip that not many undertake. For the neighborhood's shopkeepers and restaurateurs, it's home --- probably for three generations. And that makes all the difference.

They filmed scenes from "The Godfather" on Arthur Avenue. More recently, "The Sopranos" dropped by. George Bush, Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki shared a pizza here. It's time travel to come to Arthur Avenue: waiters in tuxedos, valet parking and presents --- like "silver" bracelets --- for the kiddies.

Ann Volkwein visited the mom-and-pop shops. She ate in the restaurants. And she talked to everyone. Her book is essentially a profile of a small town in Southern Italy, where businesses stay in families and you look out for your neighbor and there's no better reason to get together than a meal.

Volkwein's profiles, accompanied by Vegar Abelsnes's evocative photgraphs, are a delight; you'll meet great characters. More to the point, you'll learn about the restaurants and the shops so, when you visit, you can have a personal exchange.

But most to the point: the recipes. This is Southern Italian cooking, It lacks the "refinement" of Northern cuisine. And although there are lovely photos of vegetables and a side order of eggplant at any restaurant here will be the size of a flying saucer, you won't find many vegetable recipes in these pages. The buzz words are "hearty" and "authentic" and "carbohydrates."

What recipe to serve up? What else than meat sauce? But imagine it served by a waiter who is not also an actor, a waiter who's going to be wearing that tuxedo for decades. Enjoy!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Cookbook Reeks with Honesty Jan. 23 2007
By Bill Gallagher - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Arthur Avenue Cookbook is beautifully put together in every way. The recipes, the photographs, the storyline and the quality of the book itself are absolutely first-rate. The people in this book are completely genuine - there is an honesty about their lives and their livelihoods that jumps from the pages. There are no pretenses here: the recipes do not require a lot of complex sauces or fancy ingredients and there isn't a lot of impressive talk about the celebrities who may have visited these businesses, rather it is a book about ordinary people with extraordinary attitudes about what tastes good. It is all as you would want it - cooking that is straight from the heart, straight from the soul. Bellisimo!!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly marvelous and authentic recipes! March 19 2008
By R. Smith - Published on
I ordered this book after seeing it on Food TV. I have baked 3 cookie recipes and made one pasta sauce from this book and they are all superb. As somebody else said, the "real deal". I grew up next door to a lovely Sicilian woman and the pignoli cookies in the book are exactly as she made them. If you have one Italian cookbook, this should be the one.

Great memories, great recipes. Fun book to look through. A must have if you love true Italian cooking.

It's permanently on the counter right next to my WEEKEND BAKER cookbook.

PS: I have to add a negative. In my opinion, a few of the recipes leave out *just a little bit*. I noticed in the pignoli cookies, for example, I believe the instruction should say "beat the egg whites", it does not tell you to do that. I have found the same in another recipe. Just my opinion, but I think there is a little secret keeping. I still recommend this book, there are truly marvelous recipes to be enjoyed.

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