Steve Schirripa Has No Problem With Little Italy, Steaks
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.
Bacaro Opens Doors, Expect Salami and Epaulettes
According to Urbandaddy, Peasant’s new restaurant, Bacaro, was to open tomorrow with a party for the neighborhood. Didn’t sound right to us — was a place like Peasant really surrendering their first night to the notoriously steak-and-stripper-happy readers of the Dad? We went down last night, strolled right in (what’s this, no list?) and indeed, owners Frank and Dulci DeCarlo were throwing a bacchanalian fête for the usual Soho/Nolita/Chinatown suspects — basically everyone you’d see at Sway’s Morrissey night. (Note to anyone planning to be a Benjamin Cho hipster type for Halloween: Epaulettes are majorly in.)
Plate of Pig Liver Silences Bruni in Nolita; ‘Top Chef’ Contestant’sAstoria: Coffee and desserts are available at Tell Astorya Cafe on 28th Avenue during events including Friday’s Independent Film nights and afternoon jazz on Saturday. [Joey in Astoria]
Clinton Hill: Former Top Chefer Josie Smith-Malave has named her restaurant on Waverly and Greene Speakeasy. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: The food-feature documentary King Corn opens today at Cinema Village. [Cakehead]
Flatiron: Centro Vinoteca’s Anne Burrell, Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez of Lassi, and Dos Caminos chef Ivy Stark will be cooking for next Thursday’s benefit for Women Chefs & Restaurateurs at the Prince George Ballroom. [Gothamist]
Greenwich Village: Gray’s Papaya on 8th Street has endorsed Bloomberg for president because “he talks the talk, and he’ll walk the walk.” [Blog Chelsea]
Nolita: Frank Bruni is actually at a loss for words to describe a favorite dish that Frank DeCarlo serves at Peasant: “the suckling pig liver will fascinate you because it tastes so very much like other liver you’ve had and yet … and yet … different, but in ways that are tough to pinpoint.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Back of the House
Rocket Rod Dances Back Into the River Café; Nobody Likes IlanRod Stewart, banned for life at the River Café for pulling his own “rod” out, gets readmitted after a penitential jig for owner Buzzy O’Keefe. [NYDN]
McDonald’s coffee “the cheapest and the best,” according to Consumer Reports. Of course, it was only going up against Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks. [NYDN]
Frank Bruni also thinks Marcel got the shaft in the Top Chef finale. Does Ilan have any fans in the media at all? [NYT]