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Nov 3, 2002 03:50 PM

Italian Rest Grotta Azura/Blue Grotta on Broome & Mulberry?

  • c

This place was one of our favorites and was temp. closed when we were there a couple of years ago. Does anyone know if it is still closed?

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  1. Sadly, yes, the Grotta has remained shuttered. The place was gutted a few years ago, as though someone had plans to renovate and re-open. The sign still hangs on the corner, above the door - a constant reminder of what was, in my opinion and in my heart, the best that Little Italy had to offer. My first memory of eating at the Grotta was in 1960, but my parents had been eating there since they were married, in 1941. At that meal, I was 12 years old and my sister, 14. After feasting on things I'd never seen in my life - spedini a la Romana, fritto misto, a 4-lb. lobster fra diavolo served atop a bed of linguine, clams posillipo, garlic-laden, crisp and salty chicken scarpariello, etc. - my folks and I were slumped in our chairs, napkins hiding open zippers, and my sister was still searching out whatever she could find remaining on the platters. Suddenly we noticed tears rolling down her cheeks. When my mother asked what was wrong, her reply was, "It's all so good and I hurt so much but I can't stop eating!"

    All I have left is the memory of meals like that - and their self-published cookbook. I don't have any idea what became of John and Kathy Davino. Does anybody out there know?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Deenso

      What is the name of the cookbook? Who is the publisher? Can it still be purchased? Anybody have any answers. Please

      1. re: rocky

        It's "The Recipes of the Grotta Azzurra" by John Davino, published by Davino Enterprises. The copyright date is 1977.

        I'd be very surprised if you could find this anywhere. I'm pretty sure they only sold it at the restaurant. Then again, if Davino Enterprises still exists, you could try there - 387 Broome Street, NY, NY 10013.

        I'll never part with my copy - too many memories - but perhaps another chowhounder could be enticed...

        1. re: rocky

          The cookbook, which is well treasured in our house, is called "The Recipes of The Grotta Azurra. Publishedby Davino Enterprises (which is the family )in 1977 and printed by Amprint, Inc. 212 594-2803

          Sadly, the restaurant is still closed down.

          1. re: betsy

            I don't know if you are still on here or will get this but I used to have this book. Saddly, I believe I lost it when my ex and I separated. There was a recipe for , I believe, Chicken Picante, in that book - unless I am losing my mind completely. It was chicken with lemon, etc. Would you be able to send me that recipe here on ChowHound or by email?
            Thanks so much,

        2. re: Deenso

          Looking for the Grotta Azzura's recipe for:
          veal rolatin ala marsala
          I last ate there at my 51st birthday-5 yrs ago.
          And as usual the veal rolatin ala marsala was to kill for. On reading the posts and some of all your reverence for the cookbook, I feel proud and lucky to have a copy. Sadly, if I recall correctly, it does not contain the veal rolatin, which I always went there specifically for plus clams casino, and spedini occasionally-my mouth is watering as I type.

          The loss to me is a shock-no longer being ny connected.
          And to think all these years I was looking forward to my next visit. I found this site on the web while checking out there hours-I used to turn up often on their closed days and never remembered when they were-still don't.

          ps I noticed other restaurants around the world of the same name as i searched-those looking for the davino's could try some of them, LA for instance.

          good luck all-and nice to hear you out there

          1. re: Deenso

            The Best Italian I ever had. I too was introduced by family many many years ago. I now live in Fl and had heard that they just recently re-opened in the last month or so. Do you know?


          2. It appears to be permanently closed.

            1. We split some discussion of recipes from their cookbook to a new thread on the Home Cooking board It can be found here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/768339

              1. It is open. Anyone been there? I used to love it. Garlic bread was loads of whole cloves on bread saturated with good oil. They would not make it for us on weekends when they were very busy.

                177 Mulberry Street On Broome
                New York, NY 10013-3741
                (212) 925-8775


                Grotta Azzurra
                177 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10013