And I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…maybe it’s a Nutella pizza?
June 24, 2011

Before the concert started...but it's already packed, in summer heat!

OK, being at the U2 360 Tour concert was, in a word…amazing. As much event as concert, whenever you gather 80-thousand….picture that…80-thousand people into a hot, muggy stadium for a rock concert, there could be trouble, you know?  But amazingly,  the crowd was so zen…and by that I don’t mean placid….there was hooting and hollering, singing, clapping a plenty…but no fights that I saw or heard about, no cursing, in the crowd or from the stage. A group of like-minded people who came there to hear some great music from a legendary band…and that’s what we got.

When Bono sang(and of course everyone in the audience sang along) “But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for“…I glanced around at people from age 15 to, what maybe 70?….all happily swaying and singing the lyrics to a song that obviously touches something deep in the wellspring of simply being human….watch a little of  “In the Name of Love”-here. That feeling of seeking something…even when we’re no longer teenagers…we’re all still seekers. Great concert. But last night I was seeking Chazz, A Bronx Original

Chazz is right by Pazo.....

The Chazz man-heard he was at the opening but I never saw him...

Chazz…A Bronx Originalhad its “grand opening”(it had what they call a soft opening a couple of weeks ago)  in Harbor East on Aliceanna…owned by non-other than Chazz Palminteri, of A Bronx Tale. Think luscious coal-fired “Bronx style” pizza, fabulous antipasta, and some great wine.

The coal-fired pizza oven is the first thing you see when you enter....

Margherita pizza, with fresh basil...and at the top, rice balls filled with bolognese-unbelievable...

Let me tell you, I’ve been to more than a few openings…and you often struggle to get food to eat(people camped out by the kitchen door and attacking waiters as they come out with stuff-hey, I’ve seen it…)….but not at Chazz…the kitchen was slamming it last night…constant hot pizza, big platters of prosciutto(which I adore) cheeses and bread….fresh pasta…sigh.

Is there anyone who doesn't love Nutella???

And the killer…a Nutella pizza fresh from the oven sprinkled with powdered sugar. That’s right. A freakin’ Nutella pizza(don’t get me started on the Limoncello rice pudding)..so good.

Room full of movers and shakers(I'm a shaker, not a mover)...

And because I like myself a nice looking Ladies room….here it is. Thumbs up..

The ladies room...Chazz style...

Have a lovely weekend everyone…don’t throw rocks, make a Nutella pizza(or order one)…do something nice for someone else(it all comes back)…and come home safe…’cause we miss you.

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The perfect Pomodoro? Or is it the Puttanesca?
April 17, 2009

The assistant news director called me in his office earlier this week, and asked would I like to do a cooking segment with Chazz Palminteri of A Bronx Tale Fame, at La Scala Restaurant in Little Italy. Ummmm….in a word…yes. (Airs on WBAL Sunday 9 AM)

Pasta with vodka sauce...come to mama...

Pasta with vodka sauce...come to mama...

We met at noon….Chef Nino Germano, the chef at  LaScala said, “So why have I never seen you at my restaurant?” I lamely said that you know how you get stuck in a rut with the restaurants you always go to…and…you know….yeah. But now that I’ve tasted his cooking…I will be drawn to his siren song. He makes maybe the perfect Pomodoro Sauce….simple, absolutely fresh, finished with fresh basil and a splash of Sicilian olive oil. Delish.

And Chazz Palminteri  is no slouch when it comes to Italian food….come on, he’s from the  Bronx!  He grew up with him Momma’s fresh tomato sauce, and he says he always orders a Pomodoro sauce when he first tries an Italian restaurant….”The simplest things are always the hardest to make….if someone makes that good…you know the rest of the food will be too.”  And Chazz was particularly fond of Chef Nino’s Puttanesca sauce….a sauce that comes from Naples,  and according to some it was a quick cheap meal that prostitutes could prepare between customers.  Truth or fiction? Who knows….but man….fresh tomatoes, black olives, capers, anchovy paste(gives it just the right zing, even if you’re not an anchovy fan)….plate that sucker. It’s done. Chazz loved it…said it was seriously the best puttanesca he’d ever had…”Yeah, really…most people just overdo it…it’s just too much you know? But this is …ummmm…just right.”

 I saw A Bronx Tale at the Hippodrome, a couple of nights ago. I will only say this….it blew me away. I’ve never seen the play, never saw the movie, so I came to it kind of a fresh slate…But Chazz gets on stage, and grips you for 90 minutes or so straight through….no breaks…all by himself.  Amazing stuff. Like a perfect pomodoro.

And we all sat down for an oh so brief respite during a busy Friday. and shared some plates of pasta, family style….and Chef Nino’s Mom brought out her homemade cannoli…chocolate and hazelnut. Does life get any better than this on a perfect spring day? I don’t think so.( And for those of you who love bocce ball…they have an indoor court at La Scala…how fun is that?)