Taste of the LES: San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria

This afternoon we have the final installment of our series leading up to the 10th annual Taste of the Lower East Side. The benefit for the Grand Street Settlement begins this evening at 7 o’clock. We’re wrapping up with San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria on Clinton Street. Recently, I stopped by to talk with David Malekan, who owns the restaurant with his brothers, Kourosh and Kamran.

Dave  practiced law and he worked on Wall Street. But toiling in the corporate world did not appeal to him. These days his office is a sunny perch at the corner of Clinton and Rivington Streets. San Marzano has been open since 2008. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a wood fired stone hearth oven imported from Italy.

Taste of the LES: Il Laboratorio del Gelato


Photo by roboppy via Flickr.

The Grand Street Settlement’s Taste of the Lower East is just a day away. For the past month, we’ve been profiling many of this year’s participants. We saved one of the most enticing entries until second last – il laboratorio del gelato, the walk-up ice cream mecca on Orchard Street.

Jon Snyder comes from ice cream royalty. His grandfather, James Ceriale, built many of the original Carvel stores, starting in 1951. After returning from Italy at age 19, Snyder decided to strike out on his own, creating the Ciao Bella Gelato Company. Before long, he was selling to the city’s most formidable restaurants, including the River Cafe and the Russian Tea Room. Snyder sold the company in 1989 but he could not stay away.

Taste of the LES: Tre

Gino Piscopo, with Eric Wines seated in the background.

Today we resume our profiles of the restaurants participating in this Thursday’s Taste of the LES with a visit to Tre, the charming little Italian place on Ludlow Street. I stopped by recently to talk with Gino Piscopo, who draws his culinary inspiration from Naples, where he was born.

Taste of the LES: Sugar Sweet Sunshine

We resume our series profiling the participants in this year’s Taste of the Lower East Side with a perennial neighborhood favorite — Sugar Sweet Sunshine.  When I arrived on a sunny afternoon last week to interview co-owners Debbie Weiner and Peggy Williams, they were sitting outside enjoying a (very) rare respite from the kitchen. Since opening in 2003, Sugar Sweet Sunshine has thrived on a simple concept — serving delicious cupcakes and other tempting treats, while at the same time creating a comfortable, laid back hangout for the neighborhood.