Each September, a slice of old-world appeal is renewed within the coronary heart of decrease Manhattan. Vibrant crimson, white and inexperienced arches illuminate Mulberry Road for 11 blocks from Houston to Canal, celebrating the annual Feast of San Gennaro. The 97-year-old custom was first celebrated in america in 1926, when immigrants from Naples joined collectively on Mulberry Road to rejoice the patron saint of Naples, Saint Januarius. Now, New Yorkers of all ages collect for the 11-day feast — operating from Sept. 14 by way of Sept. 24 — and take pleasure in an array of basic Italian treats and festivities.
Right here’s WSN’s information to the most effective eats at this yr’s Feast of San Gennaro.
Greatest pasta: Caffé Palermo’s cacio e pepe
After I stumbled upon the lengthy line for this stand, I knew I needed to see what the hype was about. Cacio e pepe is likely one of the simplest, but scrumptious, Italian pasta dishes, sometimes made in simply minutes with pecorino Romano cheese, black peppercorns and al dente pasta. Little Italy’s famend Caffé Palermo serves this dish freshly made, after swirling it in a large parmesan wheel and sprinkling a beneficiant quantity of cracked pepper on high. It’s salty, creamy and has a kick from the pepper, making it each flavorful and comforting.
Greatest sandwich: Gigi’s Tre Cugini
Gigi’s serves up the whole lot from arancini to rib-eye steak, however their hottest dish is their sausage and pepper sandwich. Though the feast is filled with Italian sausage distributors, Gigi’s taste and freshness make it a standout. Sandwiches are made to order, and the savory sausage is topped with candy, caramelized onions and contemporary peppers, packing a punch in each chew. The cooked-down toppings seep into the toasted bread, making for a satisfying chew.
Greatest seafood: Mike’s Clam Bar
Given the feast’s Neapolitan origins, it isn’t a shock that southern Italian fare, particularly seafood, has discovered its place among the many Mulberry Road distributors. Mike’s Clam Bar’s notable seafood dishes embrace its baked clams and fried shrimp, that are each baked to perfection and seasoned with garlic, crispy breadcrumbs and contemporary herbs. Topped with a refreshing squeeze of lemon juice, Mike’s Clam Bar was a memorable expertise.
Greatest dessert: Danny on the Nook
Zeppole, deep-fried dough balls dusted in powdered sugar and sometimes full of jelly or cannoli cream, are one of the crucial widespread gadgets on the feast. You’ll discover loads of stands frying them up, however nobody does it fairly like Danny on the Nook. The stand focuses on basic zeppole and my private favourite deal with from the feast: fried Oreos. The zeppole are mild and pillowy, and the fried Oreos are merely golden nuggets of deliciousness. On the nook of Mulberry Road and Grand Road, this zeppole spot is a must-try on the feast.
Honorable point out: Pastéis de Nata at Joey Bats Café
Though Joey Bats Café’s pastéis de nata — Portuguese custard tarts — aren’t fairly Italian, they nonetheless deserve recognition for the most effective desserts I attempted on the feast. The pastries are like heat creme brulees wrapped in mild and flaky croissants. The cafe, which additionally has places in Chelsea Market and the Decrease East Aspect, fills and finishes its pastéis de nata with a wealthy and creamy egg custard and a splash of cinnamon. In the event you’ve had your fill of Italian classics on the feast, you would possibly need to check out Joey Bats Café for one thing a bit of totally different.
Contact Roksaneh Salartash at [email protected].