Founded in 1908 by the Davino family, Grotto Azzurra at 177 Mulberry Street, was named for the blue grotto on the Isle of Capri and designed to 'evoke the beauty of one of the world's most famous caves'. As well as the after show dinning of Caruso, Sinatra was a frequent visitor and called it his one and only favorite Italian restaurant, making it the site of many a "Rat Pack" evening. Shuttered for six years, it has now been renovated and its cuisine is in the sure hands of multi-talented chef Frank Castellana.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
FAMOUS CONNECTIONS ON MULBERRY
Infamous connection would be more accurate for this building which was the hangout of the Gambino mob when John Gotti was running it. It was known as the Ravenite Social Club and was wiretapped by the FBI - the conversations recorded here helped send him to prison. The Feds took over the building, which was owned by a Gambino capo, in 1998.
It now houses Amy Chan, a handbag designer whose Asian-styled wares are carried by Claire Danes and Kate Moss. No better symbol of the transformation of the neighborhood could be imagined - John G would turn in his grave!
Many well known celebrities enjoy the traditional italian offerings at Grotta Azzurra. Recently seen include, Cast of Sopranos, Daryl Hall, Dennis Leary, Frankie Avalon, Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin, Lynn Redgrave, Salman Rushdie, and Blythe Danner.