NYC’s Blu Jemz and Italian transplant Cristiano share their favorite spots in Little Italy before they hit Le Bain with their respective labels, Night People NYC and Slow Motion, Friday, September, 29th.
“Having grown up in downtown Manhattan, it’s rare that anyone can show me something I haven’t seen below 14th St. Walking around Little Italy with Cristiano is one of these rare occurrences. He greets everyone we pass, whether young or old, he goes behind the counter to pour us drinks at every bar, and we always get the right price. Here’s a list of some of our favorite spots to hit when we’re in this historic neighborhood.”
Blu Jemz (left) and Cristiano
We both needed shaves, so we stopped in the family-run Barber’s Blueprint first. A straight razor shave is a real treat, especially when you get a scrub and a hot towel to go with it.
Lunch at Gino Sorbillo Pizzeria
We were too late to grab sandwiches at Parisi because the old school deli stops making them at 3:30. So Instead, we hit Gino Sorbillo Pizzeria where they make every mini pie right in front of you. They’re famous for their fried pizza, but I stuck with the basic and it was delicious.
Digestive at Capri Ristorante
At first glance Capri Ristorante looks like another tourist trap on Mulberry. But with deep neighborhood ties and a basement where they screen classic Italian cinema on Monday nights, it’s a local institution. Cristiano poured us some digestives (he said this particular one is only sold on Capri).
“The disco traffic is heavy in here.”
Shopping at John Jovino Gun Shop
There’s a million spots to grab some Italian-themed souvenirs, but John Jovino Gun Shop is where you can find the one-of-a-kind stuff. You might remember the sign from Scorsese’s Mean Streets (unquestionably my favorite film of all time). Go inside and dig around or talk with the proprietor, you won’t be sorry.
Ciao is our usual meeting spot. The espresso here is some of the best in the city, even when Cristiano makes it.
Lastly, we wanted to end our day with two classic Aperol Spritz at Pepe Rosso. This is the latest restaurant from owner and all-around-cool-guy Gianfranco of Mangiami fame. The disco traffic is heavy in here, so don’t be surprised if you see a DJ Harvey, Spun, or Eric Duncan-type getting down.