One of the perks of writing and talking about restaurants is the occasional invitation I receive to attend events that pair food with wine. Or beer. Or bourbon. Or scotch. Or tequila, rum … or even mead. You get the idea - if I attended them all, I’d be in ‘round-the-clock detox.  But some of these generous invites are hard to turn down, and last w...

The Nazis couldn’t kill Nicola “Nic” DiRito when he was fighting against fascists in Occupied Italy as a teenager during World War Two, but today Nic died of old age at 92 in Delaware.  As an Italian-American, whose family on my mother’s side hailed from the same province of Abruzzo as Nic, I had first met him when I was assigned to cover his 90th...

Ever since Touch of Italy opened here in the Cape Region, I’ve written about their efforts to provide fresh, handmade mozzarella cheese to those who appreciate that sort of thing. Once mozzarella fans compare that creamy, just hours-old product to those little rubbery softballs available in most grocery stores, they definitely end up appreciating t...

A New Castle festival wants to give you the business. The committee overseeing the city’s annual Italian Festival at Cascade Park decided two weeks ago to forego this year’s event. The goal for next year is to trim the festival from three days to one. The reason? “It becomes hard to have an Italian festival if you don’t have a lot of food vendors,”...

Giuseppe Laragione did not begin his career in the restaurant business, although he did grow up surrounded by authentic Italian cooking. Born in Naples, Giuseppe worked for a company that made oxygen in his native Italy before deciding to travel to the United States to make a better life for his family. On Friday, January 4, Giuseppe turned 80 year...

The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce presented Joseph G. DiPinto, with the Dick DiSabatino Award on Monday at its 182ndAnnual Dinner. The event, held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, was attended by nearly 1,000 elected officials and business and community leaders. The award, named for former DSCC Chairman the late Richard DiSabatino Sr., w...

Eric Huntley is a sandwich connoisseur. He doesn't believe in slapping a few low quality ingredients between two slices of bread and calling it a day. Each layer has to complement and please. Huntley appreciates the subtleties of homemade condiments such as the red pepper-rosemary aioli he slathers on a roll for his porketta sandwich ($10) with gar...

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, or Festa dei sette pesci, is an Italian-American custom where seven different kinds of seafood are served during a meal, usually on Christmas Eve. Why seven? No one has ever really answered this question for me, though conventional wisdom is that the number relates to the seven sacraments or to the seven days of the w...

Growing up in Italy, the Laragione family spent many Christmas Eve’s enjoying a traditional Italian meal. Unlike American traditions of ham and turkey on Christmas Eve, in Southern Italy where the Laragione’s are from, Christmas Eve meal consists of seafood with no meat served during the celebration. This year, Franco Laragione is bringing that tra...

When Touch of Italy owner Bob Ciprietti took over the former Bella Coast Italian Kitchen & Market on Concord Pike last week, the Sussex County restaurateur came with some secret weapons. He brought in culinary consultant Ciro Verdi, a longtime New York City chef/restaurateur whose pizza has been praised by celebrity chef Bobby Flay and featured oft...