Though I loved every moment I spent at Zero Otto Nove (see previous post) I was not done with Arthur Avenue by a long shot.
Since my Find Out Friday from two weeks ago was all about Arthur Avenue (https://bit.ly/2Mqtl2T), after lunch I was very eager and excited to walk down the block to see St. Barnabas Hospital. This site was the former home of Lorillard family. That family you will recall owned all of this land, at one time, all the way down towards the Bronx Zoo and NYC Botanical Gardens.
It looked just as I imagined though I wish I could have stepped back in time and visited the old mansion from the 1800s.
As I walked back towards the direction I came from, I noticed something that stood out. It was a Parisian themed cafe and had an Eiffel Tower on the awning. That is when I knew I was where I was meant to be. I seriously Eiffel Towers in the most unlikeliest of places: Hollywood Museum, a bar in St. Martin. Wherever I go there she is; the symbol of the place I love most on this Earth.
Next I went into the legendary Arthur Avenue Market. As readers of that Find Out Friday post will note this storefront was once the only place you needed to visit to when shopping in this area. It avoided those messy street carts from polluting the surrounding area. There is now only one relic remaining off to the side.
As for the market itself, I have seen better. I much prefer the Gansevoort Market (https://bit.ly/2N7V39P) in Manhattan as well as the Reading Market in Philadelphia (https://bit.ly/2wt8irc). But both of those have much more modern feels and a larger space to work with.
I had already eaten so I didn’t need to purchase anything but I did leave with some pasta to cook at home (it didn’t please) and I enjoyed that there was a gift shop in case I needed anything. No one loves a gift shop more than me. But I mostly found my souvenirs in the stores that lined the Avenue.
Along the way I stopped into Madonia Bakery for some olive bread and Italian cookies.
But my real destination lay ahead in where my crew was going to have dessert. That local institution was De Lillo Pasticceria.
We sat outside because it was just that nice out. There was a breeze and we got a table in the shade. It is worth noting that since this was Labor Day weekend it was considerably less crowded than on an average Saturday. That was an extra bonus for me because I do not care for people.
This bakery has a ninety-three year history having only changed hands once from the family that established it to a long time employee and his inner circle.
Once again deciding what to have was an issue.
I went with an iced cappuccino and a pistachio gelato.
The iced capp came with whipped cream, which I do not care for, but this was as my cousin said: “not Reddi Whip”. Nope this was homemade cream and thus I licked it all up. It was seriously the best cappuccino I have ever had.
As for the gelato, it brought tears to my eyes. The nuts, and there were oh so many of them; plus the fresh, homemade ice cream made me feel as though I was sitting in a piazza in Italy. It is not an experience I have yet had but if I had this is what I imagine I would be tasting. It was that good.
We ended our day as any good Italian American would, with a visit to nearby Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. This church has the same name as a parish I am very well acquainted with in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (https://bit.ly/2xcENKA), though I do not believe they have a connection to one another. This similar sounding house of worship in Brooklyn is near another great place to eat; Best Pizza (https://bit.ly/2HDHqMc).
I know Sunday is a Funday but Saturdays are pretty swell too when you spend some time eating your way down Arthur Avenue.
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