Right now former McNeese two-time All-American Erika Piancastelli is on a plane with her Italian softball team headed to Japan for the 2020 Olympics. ”I think the word everyone can agree on right now is FINALLY,” said Piancastelli. “We’ve been waiting so long for this moment and its finally here. It feels unreal right now. My teammates and I have b...

What a difference a clam makes. The fresh linguine vongole on the menu at San Lorenzo restaurant in the recently opened Hotel St. Vincent is revelatory. Beyond the house-made pasta — and beyond the heft of the toasted garlic in buttery sauce topped with ribbons of parsley and fried breadcrumbs — there are those clams. Although littleneck clams are...

“How to Stuff in Italian”: a delicious collection of family recipes. “How to Stuff in Italian” is the creation of published author S. Gary Polozola, a native of Baton Rouge who currently resides in Arlington, TX with wife, Kathy. Polozola earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Texas A&M School of Law and an MBA from Southeastern Louisiana University....

As New Orleans jazz landmarks go, it’s an unlikely one. For starters, it’s still standing, somehow having survived that period in history in which the idea of preserving the city’s cultural landmarks simply didn’t exist. Also, there’s its location. It’s not Backatown, that then-unfashionable area behind the French Quarter where the city’s Black pop...

Leaving the horrors of the Covid-19 pandemic horrors behind, people has started stepping out from the comfort and safety of their homes. Restaurants and cafes are again full, and the community is coming together to support the local businesses. People who love Italian food can find a lot of options in the city. It is important to look for restauran...

For years I’ve heard a variety of opinions about Drago’s from friends who visited the longtime New Orleans restaurant. Ever since the Drago’s family opened a Baton Rouge outpost, I had been curious to try it out. With an empty fridge and an envie for seafood, we threw caution to the wind and made the trek to Constitution Avenue. The menu is extensi...

LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, who led the Tigers to the 2009 national championship and is No. 1 among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories, announced Friday that he will retire at the end of the 2021 season. Mainieri, whose collegiate career spans 39 seasons – including the past 15 years at LSU – will coach the Tigers in the 2021...

Italian influence in New Orleans culture typically takes a second fiddle to more indiginous and inarguably dominant inspirations. And while jazz’s creation in New Orleans is credited to African-Americans, the Italians of the city, most notably Nick LaRocca and Louis Prima, can safely be assigned a supporting role. Of course, while the cuisine of th...

The first of Tangipahoa Parish’s traditional festivals to make comeback from the pandemic is happening this weekend – the Independence’s Sicilian Heritage Festival. Usually held the second weekend in March, the Sicilian Festival may be a little warmer than usual, but it is returning with all the favorite traditions – live music, the spaghetti eatin...

You know you're in an authentic Italian eatery when conversations behind the counter are in Italian. And that's how the talk flows at Anthony's Italian Deli, where Marco Saia easily switches from Italian to English and back again. Though he was born in Baton Rouge, Saia's first language was Italian, taught to him by his parents, Anthony and Maria S...