NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From crusty golden Arthur Avenue bread, to perfectly pressed baccala, freshly made pasta and the best sausage and cheese, Little Italy in the Bronx is a “buon appetito” holiday hot spot.
“I ask the people where they’re coming from. They’re coming from eastern Connecticut, Pennsylvania, South Jersey,” Bathgate resident Tony Morante told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
Yorktown resident Gabriela Miceli drove down from Westchester County and stood on line for two hours to buy cheese.
“Of course, you’ve got to have the fresh mozzarella on the table for Christmas!” she said.
Casa Della Mozzarella opened all week at 6 a.m. to accommodate the crowds, while world famous Borgatti’s went into pasta making overdrive — a labor of love there for almost 90 years.
“I always feel like what we make and when you have it for your family meal, we’re there with you and we appreciate that and love sharing,” said Chris Borgatti, of Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles.
“No meat on Christmas Eve in Italian households, only fish,” Harrison resident Gabriella Celestino said.
The goal is to serve seven different seafoods.
“Some people go way above seven, absolutely. People come in, walk out of here with 10, 12 different fish,” said Justin Jackette, of Cosenza’s Seafood Market.
Most of these products are widely available elsewhere, but a Christmas week trip to Arthur Avenue is in the DNA of many families.
“I do it for my family, for my grandma. Yup, it’s all for her,” Gabriella Celestino said.
Now that’s amore.