My son Kevin is always up for an adventure, so one day in late December during the winter break, we ventured onto Staten Island, NY, to eat at Enoteca Maria.
“What?” you say, “all the way to Staten Island to eat a meal? It had better be worth the trip!”
Well, yes. It was a trip (about 5 hours of roundtrip travel from Northwest Connecticut), but the reason to go is because of the Nonnas.
I first heard about Enoteca Maria in a segment on National Public Radio which featured the owner explaining his hunt to have a restaurant that served meals like Nonna used to make…and so he hired Nonnas! A different Nonna each night.
The website describes the origin of the idea:
The Concept: Enoteca Maria was conceived by Joe Scaravella and opened in March 2007. The goal was to create an authentic Enoteca on the North Shore of Staten Island similar to those experienced while traveling around Italy.
The Cooks: Each of our cooks represents a different region in Italy. They share a passion for cooking traditional local dishes that have been handed down from mother to daughter, generation after generation. Our food isn’t “like Nonna used to make….” Nonna is making it!
As for whether the trip was worth it?
Lasagna made with crepes; sponge cake with ricotta cheese; poached pears.
Not expensive….delicious….a culinary adventure!
When my husband licked his plate, TERESA FROM AGRIGENTO, SICILIA (our chef for the night) gave him a hug.
Yes. The trip was worth it.