In his new cable cooking show, Steve Schirripa’s Hungry (Lifeskool network, debuting December 6), Uncle June’s faithful manservant Bobby Baccalieri tours his favorite New York Italian kitchens and takes some sauce-splattered pointers from pals like Rao’s Frank Pellegrino and Peasant’s Frank De Carlo. Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld asked the man Tony Soprano immortalized as a “calzone with legs” to expound on his favorite pastime eating on and off the set.
There are a lot of cooking shows out there these days. What distinguishes yours from the competition?
This is a real guy going into a real kitchen; I think after you watch this, you’re really going to learn how to make the meatballs from Rao’s. It’s a combination of talking, comedy, and how-to.
Who does the cooking at home?
My wife; I eat, she cooks. Which is why I’m doing this new show. They’re teaching me how to cook.
In one episode, you spotlight the Mulberry Street restaurant Il Cortile. Do you think that Little Italy gets a bad rap?
I think it does. First of all, it’s a lot of fun down there. There’s a lot of tourists, but Il Cortile is as good an Italian restaurant as any in the city.
David Chang plans to open a Momofuku in Vegas where everyone “wants you to do well. [And] there are no government officials who go after you and none of the bull[bleep] that’s in New York City.” [NYP]
Nobu heads to the Sundance Film Festival this January as the first push to establish a catering arm of the company. [NYP]
Gordon Ramsay at the London, Insieme, and Toloache are some of the newer restaurants spicing up pre-theater dining. [NYT]
The bargains at Brooklyn Restaurant Week, which starts this Monday, aren't quite as overwhelming as the Manhattan version. The deal is the same — three courses for only $21.12 at any of the listed restaurants — but few of these places are hugely expensive to begin with. Look at it this way: What you save will cover the cab fare. What follows are a few of the more far-flung Xs on our own personal Brooklyn treasure map. Generally, these aren't destination restaurants, but this week they should be.