When it was first established as such, Little Italy was centered at Mulberry Street reaching all the way to Canal, Bleecker, Lafayette, and Bowery. Today, this nostalgic neighborhood is much smaller and hardly harbors the same Italian culture (let alone population) that it once did.
Still, it's worth visiting, and last weekend I met friends there for the large street fair honoring the Feast of San Gennaro (a once religious commemoration begun by immigrants from Naples in 1926).
We sat outside for a late lunch of overpriced, mediocre food. A boy and I split the portabello mushroom appetizer and I had a tri colore salad as well.I didn't think I was that hungry, so I only ordered pasta fagiole (otherwise known as an Italian pasta and bean soup) with glass of Cabernet.
Of course, when my friend needed help finishing her gnocchi (which was absolutely delicious), I lent my appetite.
Other dishes at the table included a chicken marsala and cappellini marinara. It's a shame all the food wasn't better, but it seemed to be worth the experience.
As I've said before, I'm a very big critic when it comes to Italian food. While the dam was being built in my town from 1913 to 1917, the Italian immigrants that made up most of the crew settled in Valhalla and the surrounding area, founding numerous amazingly authentic delis and restaurants to spoil me.
Then again, I am very "forgiving" when it comes to gelato. I enjoyed a small cup as we strolled through the stalls of food and games. Gosh, I love New York.