From freshly stretched mozzarella to genuine gelato Arthur Avenue in the Bronx offers visitors an authentic taste of Italian food and culture. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my recent trip back to my Italian roots. But when I learned that NYC & Co, the city’s tourism arm, was reaching out to feature Arthur Avenue in the Bronx as part of its Neighborhood By Neighborhood campaign, I was there in a New York minute.
It might seem like central casting, but it’s the real deal.
"A lot of history, family traditions, and third, fourth, fifth generation businesses that are still striving here today," says Chris Borgatti of Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles.
Okay, who’s in? An authentic Italian experience that doesn’t require a passport.
"I’ve never been to Italy, this is the closest I’ve been," says one Arthur Avenue visitor.
"I think it’s a great substitute. It's wonderful, the food, the people are nice, you can feel the culture, it’s great," says another Arthur Avenue visitor.
Two ladies from Connecticut, who shopped at Mike’s Deli, took part of the pasta dough demo of Bronx’s Little Italy.
"We had a study done last year where our customers come from, and in a one week period we tracked people here from 701 different zip codes in the U.S. alone," says Frank Franz of the Belmont Business Improvement District.
They come from near and far, primarily for the food: Restaurants with pizza ovens directly from Italy, shops that offer specialty breads, meat, homemade pasta and pastries. Not to mention moister-than-moist mozzarella that is even a hit with the New York Yankees.
Ah, and then there's the clincher: Clams for my family’s Spaghetti alle Vongole recipe.