On my mom’s side of the family, God gave everyone a super power – cooking.
An aunt and uncle from the Pellegrini branch owned a small restaurant in Brooklyn until the mid 60’s. I eat there when I was a kid. They changed the menu selection every day and the food was delicious.
The DeScillio branch, my grand father Enrico, had a banquet hall in Yonkers N.Y.. It was named the Visuvio and was located on Broadway from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. A swanky place, although I was too young to have experienced it. I saw photographic examples of it’s swankiness- potted palm, white table cloths, raised band stand, and a press tin ceiling. It had about 200 seats and it was very popular.
Enrico DiSciullio’s son James, who will be ninety years old on Monday 4/13, had a place on South Broadway in Yonkers, Luigi’s, until the 1990’s. There was a mural of Naples Bay on a dining room wall, complete with a smoking Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. My uncle was an accommodating and entertaining restaurateur who served great food. Every visit there was a treat.
My place Dominic’s Restaurant, continued that tradition on the Archipelago island city of Peoria. Most of the food I served in that dining room was made from scratch using dishes and an approach to cooking I learned from my family, and a few great chefs I worked under in New York. Next to the dinning room was the Vesuvio Lounge. (Is there a pattern developing here with that volcano?) Guests went in there after dinner for martinis and live jazz.
Happy to say, the cooking super power has been handed down to my daughter. She is taking her collage classes on line, so we are seeing a lot of her these days. I also have the opportunity to watch her cook breakfast and lunch. Being a runner, she prepares dished largely from a health concision perspective. She incorporates current nutritional thinking into her dishes and I am learning a lot from her. Not to say I cook unhealthy food, but she does way more research on nutrition then I do. My approach is more intuitive, based on what has worked for me over time. But, you are never too old to learn something new and useful!
Below are two dishes I thought were tasty and well presented.
First is breakfast; Scrambled eggs on avocado toast seasoned with sea salt, red pepper flakes and garlic powder. Side of tart, Granny smith apples and natural peanut butter.
This second one is the lunch version of the breakfast plate; Sub the scrambled eggs for a sunny side up egg.