Ostomy Memories of Italian Food


ITALIAN RESTAURANTS HAVE ALWAYS ATTRACTED ME, especially the non-chains, the little, non-descript mom & dad holes in the wall.  The aromas these places produce are wonderful, the service is good, and the food is exceptional.  I suppose there are people out there who aren’t crazy about Italian cuisine, but I’ve never met one.  “Everything you see,” said the luscious Sophia Loren, “I owe to spaghetti.”  The place where I live that is most authentic is called “Little Italy.”  They have been there for decades and have a loyal clientele.  The little Italian grandmother greets you upon entry and you can sometimes hear her husband back in the kitchen, banging pots or calling out for whatever he needs.  The atmosphere is such that you half expect to see Michael Corleone and a couple of beefy henchmen at a back table.  Soft music is playing, something operatic or, for the less classical ear, a bit of Sinatra.  The repast begins with fresh baked bread, a house salad, and the vino of your choice.  The entrée is not only delicious but attractive to the eye, always an important part of a good meal.  I rarely have room for dessert.   Somehow, in a strange way, enjoying dinner at Little Italy, I walk out feeling as if I must have had Italian ancestors, or should have had.  Why else would I like garlic so much?  


To keep the vampires away?

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ron in mich

Hi Henry, we have three Italian restaurants in the area: Gino's, Nutini's, and my favorite, Gemignani's. But you can't go wrong by going to any of them. One has the best sauce, the other great ravioli, or the baked chicken with spaghetti.


Reading this, I was so hopeful it would make me start craving Italian food. Maybe a craving will kick in later.

I started a tradition with my kids a few years ago, on the last day of school we do ice cream for dinner. So tonight is Coldstone.

Reply to Justbreathe

I think that's definitely the best reason.

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I always felt like I must have some Italian blood in me, although I know I don't. I love the whole ambiance of the rustic family-run small Italian restaurants. We used to live near our city's 'Little Italy', several blocks of authentic delis, cafes, bakeries, restaurants, and grocery stores, all specializing in Italian foods. It was an Italian food lover's paradise, and the source of some of my most memorable meals. Sadly, the area has seen some changes as many of the small establishments can no longer afford the soaring rents and have moved or closed down. There are still a few that are hanging on, but you're more likely to find a trendy chain bistro or a falafel shop than an Italian deli now. I guess this is progress?


Reply to delgrl525

I wouldn't call it 'progress.'  Change isn't necessarily progress, just change.  In fact, 'progress' might be a good subject to tackle... 


Nice day to discuss things Italian, it is their National Day. I had to go to Italy to find out the difference between a Ristorante, a Trattoria, and an Osteria. It is a Trattoria that Henry refers to as the mom and dad place. Which eatery you visit depends on how deep your pockets are, the pricing is all different. A Ristorante can be formal, many knives and forks and glasses involved.

Knowing when the pasta is al dente is crucial, take your eyes off it while it cooks and you'll be sorry. The best Italian restaurants are in New York, not necessarily in the city but in the outskirts as well. They say in an Osteria in the old days, you could bring your own food and just pay for the wine. How nice! I also noticed that Italians prefer to eat outside if given a choice. I saw a group of them eating in a little garden outside an Italian restaurant here when it was quite cold. Best wishes.

Reply to HenryM

I don't consider it progress either, just an attempt at sarcasm. What has happened to that area breaks my heart. One person's idea of progress is another's example of a breakdown of an essential part of a healthy society.

I'm sure you could write the hell out of the topic of 'progress'.


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