Now playing: "666" at the Minetta Lane Theatre

Spanish comedy troupe Yllana is coming to off-Broadway with “666“.

The show begins when three dangerous criminals (Fidel Fernandez, Joseph Michael O’Courneen and Juan Francisco Ramos Toro) and one misplaced innocent (Raul Cano) arrive on death row.   Incarceration ironically sets free their wildest fantasies as, trapped between the iron gates and an electrified fence, they interact with each other and with the audience.  At the end of all the comically bungled executions, all hell, quite literally, breaks out.  No one is safe, least of all the audience!

Now playing at the Minetta Lane Theatre, next to Bellavitae.

Now playing: “Greenberg” at the Anjelika Film Center and nationwide

Film director and writer Noah Baumbach used Bellavitae as the set for a short skit he wrote and directed a couple of years ago for Saturday Night Live, starring guest host Paul Rudd.  Noah’s latest latest movie, Greenberg, co-written with his wife Jennifer Jason Leigh, now hits theaters nationwide.

Greenberg connects award-winning comedian Ben Stiller with Academy Award®-nominated writer/director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) to tell the moving tale of Roger (Stiller), a single, fortysomething at a crossroads.  While house-sitting for his more successful/married brother, Roger searches for a way to restart his life.  He tries to reconnect with old friends (including his former bandmate (Rhys Ifans), but Greenberg soon finds himself spending more and more time with his brother’s personal assistant Florence (The House of the Devil’s Greta Gerwig), who’s also something of a lost soul.  Despite his attempts to avoid it, Greenberg and Florence forge a connection and he realizes he may at last have something to work for.

Now playing at the Anjelika Film Center, blocks from Bellavitae.  View trailer here.

Now playing: "Vincere" at the IFC Center


Italian master Marco Bellocchio’s (Fists in the Pocket, My Mother’s Smile, Good Morning, Night) stunning political melodrama tells the virtually unknown story of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s (Filippo Timi) secret first marriage.  An ambitious and ruthless young man, he woos and then abandons the woman who launched his career—and gave him his first child — as he plots his rise to power.

Now playing at the IFC Center, across from Bellavitae.  View trailer here.

On the menu: Fusilli con le Zucchine a Scapece

Fusilli with marinated Zucchini, Garlic, and Mint in the style of Campania

Scapece refers to the pickling of fish or vegetables, similar to carpione and saor, a technique used throughout the Mediterranean.  Scapece is the Italianization of the Spanish word escabeche.  It’s an ancient technique of preserving food by first frying in olive oil, then marinating in vinegar, garlic, and mint.

Zucchini prepared this way are delicious as a side dish or as part of an antipasti spread, as you will find throughout southern Italy and Sardinia.  For this dish, we cut the zucchini into small strips, and form into a sauce for fusilli, the curlicue pasta.  It makes for wonderful physical and tasting sensations in the palate.


Carmen Consoli recommends Bellavitae

The March/April issue of La Cucina Italiana magazine features an interesting interview with Sicilian singer and songwriter Carmen Consoli (interview only available in the physical magazine or online subscription).  Here’s the last question of the interview:

What do you eat when you are on the road?

“I carry a Michelin Guide around with me everywhere I go, because I really like to eat well.  In New York, I really like Bellavitae near Washington Square Park.  It is an Italian restaurant with good ingredients imported from Italy.”

h/t James Branco


Dining at Bellavitae

                                             Michael J. Gelb'sWine Drinking for Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices [Hardcover](2010)

James Beard award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg came in for dinner tonight.  Joining them were Michael J. Gelb, author of just-published Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices, and his lovely wife, the accomplished mezzo-soprano, Deborah Domanski.  Michael’s book sounds very interesting and has received terrific reviews.

By the way, Karen and Andrew’s new book, On Mastering Wine, will be published this year.  If it’s anything like The Flavor Bible, we’ll put it to good use here at Bellavitae.


Spring has arrived

Our wood burning brick oven

Spring is here and we’re busy planning the new menu.   Unfortunately, that means we will be closing the wood burning brick oven before you know it.  We would love to keep it burning all year long, but it just generates too much heat.  We find it hard to justify blasting the air conditioning and the oven during the summer.

We’ll make the decision to close it based on the weather, but it’s usually at the end of April or mid-May.

Meanwhile, come in and enjoy your favorite items from the oven, otherwise you’ll have to wait until next November!