The popularization of Italian food in New York is due to immigrants who changed their residence and settled in many regions of the United States of America during the 19th century. It was thanks to these people that Americans first learned about the wonders of Italian cuisine. So perhaps the most authentic answer to Italian cuisine in the United States isn't to cook anything Italian, but to simply go to the local farmer's market and think about how a northern spy apple could be used in a salad. Recently, Spiehler helped launch a gastronomic tour of Greenwich Village in collaboration with the famous Italian-American chef Mario Batali, whose cooking style was inspired by “authentic Italian cuisine”.
Imer Deja's family bought nine Italian restaurants in New York City and didn't change any of the names. The Italians in Harlem had their own restaurants, churches, banks, funeral homes and social groups, an elaborate cultural infrastructure that thrived in the cultural melting pot of New York City. Mejku says he plans to publish ads for about 75 Albanian-owned restaurants in New York in its 2001 edition, the vast majority of which will offer Italian cuisine. Salvatore Adamita, the new owner, said he bought Sette Colli last year when people in the neighborhood discovered that the old owner wasn't Italian.
Like hundreds of their compatriots who fled to New York during the Cold War or the Balkan conflict of the 1990s, the Kolaj have quietly prospered by opening Italian restaurants, cooking Italian food and downplaying their own ethnic origins. Its owner, Bruno Selimaj, came to the United States from Yugoslavia in 1971 and began his career washing dishes at an Italian restaurant in Midtown. Italian restaurants of all kinds were opened; barbershops, bakeries and meat markets were established; the Italian artisans who worshiped there built churches, emulating the architecture of their homeland. Italians eat it, but at home, and it would never occur to them to order it in a restaurant, says Simona Palmisano, 37, a native of Rome and a tour guide who recently settled in New York.
Exact numbers are difficult to obtain, but some restaurateurs say that ethnic Albanians own or operate more than 100 Italian restaurants and pizzerias in the metropolitan region, including all five counties, Westchester County, Connecticut and New Jersey. The Kolajs own eight Famous Famiglia restaurants in New York City, and recently overtook major Italian restaurant chains in an attempt to open two pizzerias at Newark International Airport. Giacomo Silvestris, director of operations at Italian CAI Foods in New York, 39, says that the way non-Italians drink cappuccino causes him to faint. Serena Bass, executive chef at Lido, a popular Italian restaurant in Harlem, operates following this line of quality fresh ingredients and simple recipes that change depending on the season.