Columbus Day will be celebrated in NYC on Monday October 12th, an annual acknowledgement that America in general and NYC in particular owes a great deal to Italians. There will be a parade on Fifth Ave, everyone will be wearing red, white and green, marching bands will play, dancers will dance and there will be superb Italian cars. But another way of celebrating Columbus Day is to go and visit those places which introduced us to the Italian food and drink all New Yorkers Love. First up the first Italian Pizzeria in Manhattan, Lombardi’s at 32 Spring Street in Notila.
It opened in 1905, but it’s still going. Go, pick your toppings and enjoy this excellent example of a dish which New Yorkers have made their own. Lombardi’s is still up there in the ‘best of’ lists when it comes Pizza in this ‘slice’ obssessed town
Then take yourself to Greenwich Village to Caffee Reggio at 119 Macdougall Street and slip into a perfect, living, breathing Italian restaurant which also brought the first espresso machine to NYC in 1927 and served up the very first capuccinno. Their current cappuccinos taste just as good as the original ones and the food is great as well.
Then finish up at Barbetta at 321 West 46th St and 9th Avenue in the Theater district which bills itself as the first Italian restaurant in NYC, though that’s only true if you disregard the earlier 2 which started in Brooklyn (Ferdinando’s Focacceria in 1904 and Bamonte’s in 1900) Barbetta opened in 1906 and it is indeed a venerable and gracious Italian restaurant.