Little Italy for a long time has been New York’s most famous Italian-American neighborhood, home to thousands of Italians who emigrated there from the late nineteenth century to the 50s. However, since the 70s second and third generation Italians went in search of other spaces where to move, and they found them in the Bronx, which by now is a second Little Italy where the taste of authenticity is still the same.
The families running some of the most historical establishments, in the 70s, resisted the change, thus in Little Italy there are places like “Di Palo”, the most famous food and delicatessen store in the city.
It has been run by five generations of Italian migrants with the aim to spread the authentic Italian culinary culture, choosing products made by small companies from all the regions, symbols of the Made in Italy artisan excellence. Also, “Angelo’s”, historic restaurant opened in Little Italy in 1902, continues to serve there the same traditional dishes of Neapolitan tradition: Posillipo clams, Santa Lucia mussels, and fried calamari. While Apulia’s traditional recipes can be appreciated in an authentic familiar trattoria atmosphere in “Puglia”, other historical restaurant founded in 1919. Another iconic establishment is “Caffè Ferrara”, founded in 1892, the first espresso bar and the first Neapolitan pasta maker in the city.
Nonetheless, also in the Belmont area in the Bronx, where many Italians settled brtween the 50s and 70s, it is possible to experience an authentic Italian atmosphere. There the Italian tradition is preserved and passed on by Italians like Marco Coletta, Roman chef at “Tra di noi” restaurant, who offers only authentic Italian recipes that bring the flavors of the past, such as “Trippa alla romana” and “Pollo alla cacciatora”. However, in Bronx Little Italy, the Italian atmosphere extends beyond the walls of stores and restaurants; walking down the street it seems to be in a small Italian village where shopkeepers know your preferences and give you advice, people on the street stops to have a chat.
Ilona Catani Scarlett