I was blessed to have a very Italian grandmother, who I’ve missed dearly for the past two-plus decades now. Among the many things I miss is having her feed me.
Whenever my two siblings and I walked in the door to see her and my grandfather, her first comments after exchanging pleasantries were, “You must be hungry…do you want a sandwich?”
Of course, having a grandmother who is a tremendous cook isn’t just limited to those of Italian heritage. It’s a worldwide kinda thing. That’s what makes this move by Enoteca Maria on Staten Island so brilliant.
This establishment is an Italian wine bar and restaurant in the St. George section of Staten Island. TanksGoodNews on Instagram uncovered a unique thing about this restaurant, though — they feature cooking by a rotating lineup of grandmothers from around the world.
Seriously. Here’s the text from that Instagram post:
This is about to be the busiest restaurant in the world.
Enoteca Maria on New York City’s Staten Island is a restaurant that features a rotating roster of grandmothers from around the world who showcase their homemade recipes for guests.
Owner Jody Scaravella was inspired to open Enoteco Maria after losing his Italian-born mother and nonna. “It was grief-driven and I had no business plan. I had no experience. I never even worked in a restaurant, no idea what I was doing. And so it just kind of unfolded,” Scaravella said.
Since the restaurant opened in 2007, its resident cooks have come from nations including, Italy, Japan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Trinidad, Syria, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Belarus, Poland, and France.
Genius. Absolutely genius.
This isn’t a new thing. According to Enoteca’s website, they’ve been doing it since at least 2016. And if you’re looking for a certain kind of grandmotherly cuisine, you’re in luck because the restaurant maintains a “Nonna Calendar” so you can see who will be featured and when.
Next up on the schedule is Nonna Ploumitsa from Greece on Sunday, March 25th. That’s followed by Nonna Adelina from Italy on Sunday, March 26th. Now if you’ll excuse me, this Greek/Italian writer has a delicious weekend adventure to plan, with the destination being 27 Hyatt Street in Staten Island.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.