Call me crazy but I have always assumed that all my favorite restaurants would use the best available ingredients. When restaurants started indicating what salt or what extra virgin olive oil they used it made me wonder. I do not want to bother anyone to death with details on my every day ingredients...it is bad enough our guests have to listen to between 7 and 10 daily specials - but I thought I could let everyone that is interested know though the website.
I do not come from a family of restaurateurs and I remember my mother always vehemently try to discourage my ambition telling me I did not have “the head” for it.
Since we opened in September of 1995 we have used the same ingredients I would buy at home in Rome.
Our local (and sometimes not so local) vegetables are also delivered by Gramercy Produce, a company owned by the nicest Italian American kids. Vincent’s in the Bronx is our butcher together with Rocco from American Beef who has been supplying our meat since we open.
I get the seafood either at the farmer’s market or through Pisacane... Pisacanedelivers our wonderful fresh calamari 6 days a week and Don Carlos has been, since 1995, lovingly cleaning them and marinating them with sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and herbs. We only use fresh garlic that needs to be peeled...thank you Don Carlito.
You will be amazed how many people think I am insane because I do not purchase peeled garlic. Our cheese and charcuterie are selected with love and patience by Sal Di Palo and Rene. Our roman ricotta, burrata and buffalo milk mozzarella come from Italy through Buonitalia who has been supplying us with wonderful specialty ingredients since the first day we opened. Go visit them at the Chelsea Market. I used to deal with Mimmo, the father, and now I deal with Antonio the son...so so nice.
Spatola in Queens has been making our “flower of milk” mozzarella with Italian machinery and triple filtered water since 1995.
The dry pasta we serve is “Rummo” a family owned company in the south of Italy that has been making pasta for 160 years. Out of the industrially produced pasta it is the most artisanal. The company just received a sustainability award and makes pasta using the “Lenta Lavorazione” method. Rummo is the only pasta that has a 14.5% protein content
Julio still goes personally to do a lot of our shopping with the most critical eye and our suppliers are well aware of what a huge pain in the tush I am that if something I order is not top quality, they do not even bother delivering it.