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WIS-TEX BBQ

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Warning: thread hijack

Postby kulgar » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:41 am

When LaRocca's closed for lunch last year, he sent the regulars to Cafe Bellitalia claiming it was the only other restaurant in town owned by "someone from the old country". I pointed out several Italian owners in town but Vito corrected me and said something to the effect, "no, I meant Sicilian!"

Warning: the Sicilian pizza is addicting. Not your typical Roman Candle "how many odd ingredients can we cram on top", simple and delicious and swimming in heart healthy olive oil.
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby city2countrygal » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:33 pm

kulgar wrote:Warning: the Sicilian pizza is addicting. Not your typical Roman Candle "how many odd ingredients can we cram on top", simple and delicious and swimming in heart healthy olive oil.

Simple and delicious pizza = Neopolitian style
Simple, delicious, and spicy pizza = Sicilian style

I am always jealous when I read kittenwithawhip's Italian adventures. I would go to Sicily and Sardinia if ever get a chance to go to Italy.
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby kissyfish » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:08 pm

Kulgar,

That all may be correct, what I remember (from around '86) was that the place seemed to be run by a youngish guy and his pregnant wife, and Vito was always around.

They were all really nice, and I enjoyed my job there alot, Vito would talk to me quite a bit, and was always very funny and kind.

I was back to stoughton recently and so much has changed that I have a hard time recognizing much, my old house, at the end of prospect and mckinley, where the railroad tracks meet the yahara is now a subdivision... I can still picture my treehouse, and when walking by, thought I could make out some of the boards I nailed up for a ladder to the trunk of the tree.

I am sure am old.
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Vito

Postby kulgar » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:34 pm

Vito LaRocca sold that I thought, if he ever does open in Oregon I'll ask him. Maybe he hung around with the new owners. He was also in Brooklyn but I think that was just before Willy St.

I realized that I was old when I realized I have ski wax older than the people I work with.

I personally don't find the Sicilian pie at Bellitalia to be spicy, and I am a wuss.
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Re: Vito

Postby Slick Willy » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:36 pm

kulgar wrote:Vito LaRocca sold that I thought, if he ever does open in Oregon I'll ask him. Maybe he hung around with the new owners. He was also in Brooklyn but I think that was just before Willy St.

I realized that I was old when I realized I have ski wax older than the people I work with.

I personally don't find the Sicilian pie at Bellitalia to be spicy, and I am a wuss.

I've noticed on the daily page forums that people like talking about the tangents more than the topics.
La Rocca's was great. I'm realy gonna miss that place, but Cafe La Bellitalia is no substitute. I live close to there, and it's nothing special at all. I've had their chicken parm, spaghetti & meatballs, pizza, ravioli and it's all pretty lame if you ask me. Before your meal, they serve little plastic wrapped finger crackers instead of bread. Their spag & meatballs is bland and chincy -- one little meatball!! They're not even generous with the flavorless canned sauce. I don't think that much of anything is homemade. It's an all female waitstaff, so I guess you can say that they're old school in some ways. It seems like people want to like the place so much that they convince themselves that it's good just because the owners are Sicilian and it has that quaint little Italian restaurant look.
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby john_titor » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:12 pm

I still have trouble with an articulate definition of irony.
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby city2countrygal » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:24 am

kulgar wrote:He was also in Brooklyn but I think that was just before Willy St.

Threadjack aside, I apologize, but I spent some quality time in Brooklyn recently and just have to say that is a community par excellence. You know, one of those experiences where the helper (me) received more than those asking for help.

Slick Willy wrote:It seems like people want to like the place so much that they convince themselves that it's good just because the owners are Sicilian and it has that quaint little Italian restaurant look.

I don't want to like the place, I do like it. Just like Josie's. You are entitled to your opinion Slick Willy.
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby kittenwithawhip » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:53 am

city2countrygal wrote:
kulgar wrote:Warning: the Sicilian pizza is addicting. Not your typical Roman Candle "how many odd ingredients can we cram on top", simple and delicious and swimming in heart healthy olive oil.

Simple and delicious pizza = Neopolitian style
Simple, delicious, and spicy pizza = Sicilian style

I am always jealous when I read kittenwithawhip's Italian adventures. I would go to Sicily and Sardinia if ever get a chance to go to Italy.


Why Thank You! You can certainly spice up Neopolitan pizza with the hot pepper oil that is always served in any good pizzaria in Campania. Or just add red pepper flakes. Neoplolitans don't use much black pepper but they use the crushed red pepper flakes with abandon. You can make the oil by just heating up about a 1/4 cup of pepper flakes in some type of seed oil, canola works well, or peanut, about 1 cup. Olive oil isn't the best for it. Don't boil the oil, just make sure it's heated thru and pour the whole thing into a bottle, just also make sure to use completely dried red pepper flakes, not fresh, or you may be courting bottulism.

I miss La Rocca too. I guess I will have to start firing up my own pizza oven again.
I'll be in Paris next week so I can bring back some good flour for the crust!
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby Slick Willy » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:17 pm

city2countrygal wrote:
kulgar wrote:I don't want to like the place, I do like it. Just like Josie's. You are entitled to your opinion Slick Willy.

What makes their food special to you? What details do they put into their food that really makes you say yum? It's hard to mess up Italian, because it's a comfort food that almost everyone likes, so I could eat boxed pasta with Ragu and frozen meatballs and be fine. Throw some melted mozzarella on top, all the better, but when I go to place like Bellitalia, I'm hoping that they do something to set themselves apart. What kind of good Italian place doesn't even serve fresh bread before a meal? Their pizza has almost no sauce and a crust that does nothing for me. When it's fresh, I'll eat it, and it fills my belly, but there's no wow factor. I'm not expecting gourmet for an entry level price, but there's nothing about their food that makes me feel like I'm eating down home Sicilian. I might as well be eating at Blandvenuto's. Their food isn't any better, but at least their portions are big.
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:11 pm

Slick Willy wrote: What kind of good Italian place doesn't even serve fresh bread before a meal?


FWIW, when I was in Milan, they also served cracker breadsticks and not actual bread before the meal. To be fair, the first course we ordered also included a bunch of delicious sliced meats and cheeses. No need for bread.

Slick Willy wrote: Their pizza has almost no sauce and a crust that does nothing for me.


Sicilian style pizza actual has less sauce than other styles. Was it cut into squares with a cracker thin crust? Cornmeal on the bottom?
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby jman111 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:47 pm

Based on one visit, I gotta agree with Willy.
I really, really wanted to like the pizza, but the crust was too thick (similar to commercial "hand-tossed") even after I specifically ordered "extra thin". It was cut in squares, but the crust was mushy and the mushrooms were from a can. blah.

The veal parm was alright, but certainly not exceptional. A nice sweet sauce with plenty of nicely browned mozz on top. The garlic bread seemed to have been hastily buttered (only sporadically) and under-toasted.
Best part of dinner was the salad. Fresh and flavorful.

A disappointing dinner, to say the least.
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby Slick Willy » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:20 pm

Stebben84 wrote:Sicilian style pizza actual has less sauce than other styles. Was it cut into squares with a cracker thin crust? Cornmeal on the bottom?

Ah, the authentic vs. good debate. It's funny how male foodies talk about pizza like jocks talk about football -- the thinner the crust, the more manly it is. I judge an Italian restaurant on a lot more than their pizza, but, yes, it was cut into squares, so it must be good, because that's "authentic" Sicilian -- haha. La Rocca's was owned by Sicilians, but there's was cut into slices, so who's right? It doesn't matter to me either way, because that doesn't affect the taste. Of course, I've never been to Sicily, so who am I to judge? Anchovies anyone?
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby Ducatista » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:27 pm

Slick Willy wrote:I judge an Italian restaurant on a lot more than their pizza, but, yes, it was cut into squares, so it must be good, because that's "authentic" Sicilian -- haha. La Rocca's was owned by Sicilians, but there's was cut into slices, so who's right? It doesn't matter to me either way, because that doesn't affect the taste.

Ah, but it does affect the experience. Unless it's a big, fold-y pie, I'm always happier eating squares than slices. Don't know/don't care if that's Sicilian, though.
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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:50 pm

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Re: WIS-TEX BBQ

Postby jman111 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:03 pm

I'm no strict traditionalist, so I guess I misinterpreted the desired Sicilian style.
Perhaps asking for "extra thin" was my mistake.
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