Posts Tagged With: Giovanni Rana

Dear Giovanni Rana…

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Dear Giovanni Rana,

Welcome to America!  I know all about your story and have been a fan since the day you opened your restaurant in the Chelsea Market.  A bit touristy, but a small price to pay for top quality Ravioli and Tortellini.  We are big fans of your hometown Verona as well, including the fake attraction of Romeo And Juliette (I rubbed the breasts as instructed and am enjoying an active love life ever since – Thank You!).  I also love the entire Valpolicella wine region, and I spend ample time looking for Valpolicella Ripasso in the local Chinese store.  Even though they dont carry Italian wine.  Come to think of it, its just a Chinese grocery store that doesnt carry any wine.  The word Valpolicella alone brings Mrs Ziggy into a “Fish Called Wanda” type trance.

But Mr Rana, I’m writing to you in regards to another matter.  In about an hour Mrs Ziggy will arrive home to find out that there’s nothing for her to eat.  NOTHING!  You see, for dinner tonight I made one of your prepackaged products, Tortelloni Delicato.  In the back of the package it says serving per container about 3½.  3½ I assume means 3 adults and a child, or 3 adults and the Olsen twins?  Well, we are 2 adults, and 2 children, so 3½ should work perfectly for us, right?  Well, not quite.  I divided the Tortelloni evenly for my kids (about 14 pieces each) and the leftovers (about 8 pieces) for myself as you can see above.  Mrs Ziggy gets nothing!  No amount of “Valpolicella” chanting will save the day today.  I may need to try something stronger like “Montepulciano D’abruzzo” or the names of some of your products in desperation but i doubt anything will work.  I understand that Tortelloni are slightly larger than the average Tortellini but your “About” in “About 3½” is way off for not only American standards, but Armenian village standards.  I’ve eaten in Italy many times, and I know its not Italian servings either.  Maybe the French can get away with it.  I still had to make a salad for myself, and if not for the urge to write this letter to save the starving children of the world, I would make a salad for Mrs Ziggy as well.

“About 2½” would have been more like it Mr. Rana!  I thank you for your time.



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Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Giovanni Rana – Verona Legend Turned Bird Killer

CappellettiMy youngest once told me an interesting fact she read somewhere.  10,000 birds die from smashing into windows a year.  And so I have to ask you my loyal readers, both of you.  How in the world do they come up with those stats.  Really, do they actually keep a running tally?  Do they pick up dead birds on the streets and able to determine the exact cause of death or they simply base on the location where birds pronounced dead close to windows, died from smashing into them Angry Birds style.

Giovanni RanaAnyway, I wonder how many pasta lover birds have smashed into the windows of Giovanni Rana.  GR is an Italian legend from Verona who’s passion for ravioli spawned an empire in Italy.  His face is proudly stapled on Tortellini packages all over the country.  But instead of telling you the story you can just see it on his site.  Yes even in Italy they eat packaged/frozen goods.

His daughter in law Antonella runs the new sprawling mini Eataly space in Chelsea piers. Daily made fresh pasta is the name of the game here.  You can eat it, buy it, or take-out it.  Perhaps the finest pasta menu in NYC and we sampled 4 of them (me and my 2 pasta critics, daughters age 12, 10).  On the way I told the kids about daddy’s and mommy’s adventures in Verona and I didn’t get far until the youngest interrupted.. “Ahhm dad, we were there too remember?”  Oh Yehhh!

Giovanni Rana pastaGiovanni Rana pasta

Ricotta Spinach Girasole. – Absolutely delicious Ravioli.  My youngest’s favorite of the bunch.  Comes with more chunks of creamy ricotta, all in this nice baked parmigiano crisp

Ravioli al Brasato. Braised rib meat Ravioli with cabbage and chestnuts. Good although the weakest link perhaps. I felt wanting more of the cabbage and chestnuts especially the cabbage, and the chestnuts.

Lobster Mezzaluna

Lobster Mezzaluna – Very Good!  not Maine lobster from the next door neighbor lobster place but satisfying nonetheless.  The best part of the dish was the Chanterelle mushrooms.  One of those rare moment that I count my blessings for marrying a mushroom hater (hate transferred to the kids)

Cappelletti – the star for me.  Even with the odd side of prosciutto on toast.  Prosciutto, bread crumbs and herbs packed in those Cappelletti.  Each one bursting with flavor.  Well done!

Service with plenty of hiccups as they only open for a few months.  The place feels like mini Eataly with all the tourists, products and cafeteria like setting.  Still, an enjoyable meal in Giovanni’s pasta land.  Welcome to New York Mr. Rana

Ricotta Spinach GirasoleGiovanni Rana

Categories: Chelsea, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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