Waverly here! The weather is getting nicer, people are starting to go out more, and things are starting to come alive again! Hooray! We are extra excited because the Bronx Little Italy has brought back the super fun “Piazza di Belmont” on Arthur Avenue through the fall during weekend evenings! It’s like having Italy next door! We went on a beautiful night and it was one of those times where I felt like I was in a far away special place, where everyone was celebrating and happy but it wasn’t even a holiday! There were no cars because the streets are closed (Arthur Avenue which will be closed to vehicular traffic from East 188thStreet to Crescent Avenue from 6 pm to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 pm to 9 pm on Sundays) and it really added to the fun to be able to just walk in the middle of the street in the middle of all the action outside!
Of course…all that fun and festivity makes a kid HUNGRY and boy, were we in the right place!! According to Peter Madonia, Chairman of the Belmont BID, “From the beginning of the 20th century, our neighborhood was built by local immigrant families who opened authentic Italian restaurants, butchers, bakers, fish markets, delis, pastry shops and specialty stores for the community. Many of these small local businesses are still owned by the same families that founded them, and you’ll often see multiple generations of family members working alongside each other. While our neighborhood has continued to navigate the pandemic, visitors can still experience the best of Bronx Little Italy. Our businesses have implemented health and safety protocols to keep staff, guests, and the community safe, and many of our eateries continue to offer outdoor dining experiences.” Awesome!! There are soooo many restaurants to choose from and we’ll be back to try more but we could only eat one dinner that night, and we went to Gerbasi Ristorante where the awesome server Charlie took excellent care of us and Italian music played while we ate delicious food (and mom sang and sent videos to her mom so she could hear the music, too)! We ate in their back garden and it really felt like we were in an Italian house outside, with plants and twinkly lights, it was great even before the food came! There were other families there and it felt like we were all one big family!
We dipped warm, soft Italian bread into sauce while we waited for our food (and mom sang Volare and reminded us that she used to be a singer in an Italian wedding band ). While she was having her moment, I was having mine with the bread!
The rest of the food was INCREDIBLE also! Honestly, just take a look and see, and then you’ll want to taste everything for yourself!
Now THAT’S a mozzarella stick!! We also had amazing Butternut Squash Ravioli, and my mom suddenly became a food critic and said, “Mmmmmmm, this is salty and sweet, delicately doughy, fresh, bright and fragrant. The cream sauce is light and flavorful and the pasta is al dente perfection.” She literally said all of that after one bite. Then she went back to singing Gloria in Italian, reminding us that…well, you know.
Mom’s boyfriend Mark came with us and he is usually hard to please because he is a vegan. But here, he was thrilled and for once was able to enjoy dinner right along with us! He said he would dream about his pasta that night:
This was definitely a dreamy night and dreamy dinner, and it wasn’t over yet – mom got this beautiful cappuccino that was like a work of art:
And I got a Creme Brûlée…let this video do the talking for me:
It was like heaven being handed to me on a plate. In fact the whole night was heavenly and super special and we can’t wait to go back! Until then, please say hi to Charlie for us – make sure to bring your appetite!
Following the guidelines of elected and health officials, all Bronx Little Italy restaurants implement health and safety protocols including but not limited to face masks required by all staff; mandatory daily health screening of staff; signage of social distancing throughout; regular cleaning and disinfecting according to CDC guidelines; and more. For more information about Little Italy in the Bronx, visit www.bronxlittleitaly.com or follow the BID on Instagram at @BronxLittleItaly, Twitter at@BXLittleItaly, Facebook at @BronxLittleItaly or YouTube.com @BronxLittleItaly.