For Passover: Carmel Winery Launches New Signature Series Wine for Passover: Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon
Carmel Winery Launches New Signature Series Wine for Passover: Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon
Carmel Winery, the largest and leading winery in Israel is launching a new wine from the Signature series – Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon
Kosher for Passover & All Year Long
Israel’s Carmel Winery will launch the USA premier of new CARMEL BLACK, a Signature Luxury brand, February 2024, just in time for the Passover season.
Carmel Winery – the largest winery in Israel – adds the new vintage to its distinguished SIGNATURE series, a portfolio of luxury wines from the highest-quality producing vineyards known for its long tradition of winemaking knowledge and expertise.
The new wine joins the brand’s highly successful Carmel Mediterranean Vats ($30 SRP), Single Vineyard ($45 SRP), Carmel Mediterranean ($60 SRP), and Carmel flagship wine Limited Edition ($99 SRP).
Carmel Black, a sign of strength and elegance, is a mysterious marvel that exudes prestige and sophistication.
Inspired by its boundless depth and signature timelessness, created Carmel Black, a new exclusive edition in the distinguished Carmel Signature series.
This full-bodied velvety wine epitomizes Carmel’s artistry and innovation and encapsulates the vast expertise and philosophy of Carmel Signature: to nurture and enhance the unique qualities of the grapes, extracting their best attributes and realize their full potential with love, care, and minimal interference.
Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee 2021 boasts a rich, dark crimson hue and delights the senses with aromas of ripe fruit, cassis, and hints of tomato leaf, complemented by subtle notes of warming spices.
This wine offers a full-bodied, silky texture, with flavors of luscious ripe red fruits that linger through a satisfying medium finish.
It has been meticulously aged for 14 months in French oak barrels within its wine cellars. Bottle aging potential: 5-7 years under suitable storage conditions.
Yiftah Peretz, Chief Winemaker of Carmel Winery, “Our new Carmel Black is meticulously aged for 14 months in French oak barrels. Grown in the Galilee, its climate provides comfortable temperatures which offer excellent conditions for nurturing and enhancing the unique qualities of the grape.
Etti Edri, Carmel’s Export Manager, “Israel is naturally the historical homeland of kosher wines, and we are excited to introduce our exclusive Carmel Black in the USA in time for Passover, when more than 40 percent of all kosher wine sales occur.”
Carmel BLACK Signature will be launched in the USA at the NJ Kosher Food & Wine Experience (KFWE), February 26, 2024. This important trade show regularly drives trends for Passover holiday wines and spirits, as well as year long forecasts. The trade event at the Meadowlands Hilton in Rutherford NJ is open to wine and spirits industry buyers, caterers, and restauranteurs.
Carmel BLACK Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 Galilee (SRP: $30) can be purchased at specialty wine stores and online sites.
CARMEL SIGNATURE is Carmel Winery’s most prestigious wine category. The wines are produced from grapes nurtured and selected with strict precision from Carmel’s top vineyards, with an emphasis on elegance and harmony between all the elements.
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SoCal’s Newest Vietnamese Restaurant Serves Up Honest Taste of Vietnam — Tay Ho Restaurant Chino Hills Saturday, August 13thBy Joe Wehinger — 2 years ago
SoCal’s Newest Vietnamese Restaurant Serves Up Honest Taste of Vietnam — TAY HO Restaurant Chino Hills Saturday, August 13th, 2022!
Named after the Tay Ho District located in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, Family Business Director Vivian Yenson introduces Southern Californians to Tay Ho Restaurant Chino Hills, her second newest Vietnamese restaurant honoring the timeless tradition of preparing authentic and delicious Vietnamese street food and eclectic Asian dishes.
Vietnamese Grand Opening with a full day of Giveaways
Like her first restaurant in San Gabriel, Tay Ho Restaurant Chino Hills is taking tradition to-go as they celebrate their official Grand Opening with a full day of Giveaways featuring 100 Complimentary Entrées, 100 BOGO Complimentary Entrées, 100 Complimentary Drinks
A chance to win some amazing Prizes such as a 50” Flat-Screen TV, Nintendo Switch, Apple AirPods Pro and much, much more this coming Saturday, August 13th, 2022, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm!
Tay Ho Restaurant Family Business Director Vivian Yenson, a twenty one-year-old college graduate is the eldest granddaughter ofLinda Tuyet Nguyen, the original matriarch of this family-owned business and the eldest daughter of Nguyen’s eldest son Jayce Yenson, CEO of Tay Ho Restaurants and Tay Ho Food Company.
Tay Ho was originally established in 1986 as a traditional Vietnamese sit down restaurant, but the family story began long before.
As newcomers to America, the Yenson family worked all together in tiny bánh cuốn shops where Linda Tuyet Nguyen grew to be a trusted member of the community with folks looking to her for her excellent palate.
Her passion for Vietnamese cuisine and the numerous bonds she created with her customers led to a larger vision and this is where it all began.
Vivian Yenson, a business major with a concentration in finance and operations supply chain got more involved at Tay Ho working side-by-side with her father where he could see her entrepreneurial spirit and that she was becoming more and more inspired each day realizing she could combine her love of business and her lifelong love of food.
It was then Vivian’s passion was parlayed into acreative vision bringing Tay Ho’s authentic and delicious Vietnamese street food to the masses by taking the Tay Ho tradition to-go and introducing Angeleno’s to her first new concept, Tay Ho Restaurant San Gabriel which opened in January 2022.
Tay Ho Restaurant’s love of Vietnamese cuisine is for its rich history and versatility. Tay Ho’s sole focus is on the preparation of each dish utilizing handcrafted techniques, slow cooked broths, and steamed vegetables with their commitment to creating top notch takeout food made from the finest ingredients and fresh locally sourced herbs.
Tay Ho’s signature Bánh Cuốn (pronounced bun kuon) is a premier example as their Specialty Rice Crepes take upward of five full days to prepare and it all starts with the rice. The Tay Hoculinary team grinds the rice grains with fresh water and then they let the rice sit for twenty-four hours. The next day the rice flour settles towards the bottom of the water and a milky water rises to the top. The water is then discarded as are the impurities, in which to make the cleanest batter possible.
Tay Ho continues repeating this process for approximately five days until the water is completely clear as this is the sign that it is ready to be eaten. Next, a thin cotton cloth is pulled tautly over a pot of steaming water and the rice batter is very carefully spread over the cloth.
As the Tay Ho kitchen has mastered this extensive preparation and the art of cooking their crepes to delicate perfection, they remove each crepe after just a few seconds with a bamboo stick bringing Vivian’s full vision to fruition and allowing Tay Ho to offer their Tay Ho Bánh Cuốn Set presented with classic rice crepes, pork and mushroom rolls, Vietnamese ham, and a shrimp and sweet potato fritter, and Pork & Mushroom Roll Set featuring pork and mushroom rolls, Vietnamese ham, and a shrimp and sweet potato fritter for all to-go.
Tay Ho’s Six sublimely savory Appetizers
The Khai Vi (pronounced khai vee) section offers up six sublimely savory Appetizers including Crispy Egg Rolls, Shrimp & Sweet Potato Fritters, Viet Style Chicken Wings, Shrimp Spring Rolls and Vegetarian Spring Rolls.
Tay Ho’s Banh Xeo (pronounced bun seo) is a Vietnamese Crispy Crepe and a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. Banh Xeo is a mix of potato flour, rice flour, salt, steamed mung bean, and turmeric to achieve its vibrant look. Each Banh Xeo is cooked-to-order offering a choice of either Pork & Shrimp or Mushroom & Tofu, each served with a fresh vegetable basket of mint leaves, lettuce, sliced cucumbers, and daikon, as well as Tay Ho’s Famous House Dipping Sauce.
Tay Ho’s house made Garlic Noodles
Mi Xao (pronounced mee saow) showcases Tay Ho’s house made Garlic Noodles showcasing perfectly paired with selections such as the Garlic Seasoned Filet Mignon Steak, Lemongrass Marinated Chicken, Garlic Shrimp, and Tofu & Varietal Mushrooms.
Chay (pronounced CH-ai) will satisfy and excite veggie lovers across the board with seven super tasty Vegetarian Options including the Vegetarian featuring a classic rice crepe, served with a sweet potato fritter and fried tofu, Beyond Roll Set with rice crepe rolls filled with Beyond Meat and served with a sweet potato fritter and fried tofu
Vegetarian Spring Rolls, a varietal of mushrooms with vermicelli rice noodles and fresh herbs wrapped in rice paper and served with Tay Ho’s vegetarian dipping sauce, Vegetarian Banh Xeo, Vegetarian Rice Plate, or Vegetarian Garlic Noodles.
“I grew up watching my parents work hard to make the best bánh cuốn possible.
I sat in our family restaurants doing my homework while my mom helped customers and watched my grandmother bring us all together as a family for dinner every night,’
“Being able to create something that people love and share with everyone is our goal. As our new vision of Tay Ho continues to grow, our number one priority is to bring our guests delicious homemade food just like I had growing up with my family.”
Vivian also wanted to ensure the Tay Ho Drinks selection offered a delicious variety with something for everyone to enjoy.
Growing up in a Vietnamese family, she set her sights high on making sure Tay Ho’s signature Vietnamese Iced Coffee is celebrated and not to be missed. Vietnamese Iced Coffee is a beverage native to Vietnam which has one of the best coffee cultures in the world. Vivian and her team tested and tasted for months until they found the finest Vietnamese coffee and proper slow drip brewing method, combined with the perfect amount of condensed milk for sweetness and Vivian’s secret ingredient – a touch of chocolate!
True coffee enthusiasts can savor Tay Ho’s slow dripped Vietnamese Black Coffee and tea lovers can sip Thai Tea, Strawberry Peach Black Tea, Lychee Green Tea,Taro Milk Tea, or Lychee Lemonade.
“Looking up to those who have come before me is what inspires me to work hard and give back whenever I have the chance. It also helps me believe in myself, that I can do anything I set my mind to,” states Vivian. “Family is why I love what I do so much as it means getting to continue their dream and fulfilling their legacy. As Tay Ho continues to expand, I want all our guests walking into any one of our restaurants to feel like they are family, to enjoy our recipes that have been passed down across generations, and to get a true and honest taste of Vietnam.”
The Tay Ho Restaurant Chino Hills Official Grand Opening is coming up this Saturday, August 13th, 2022, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Tay Ho Restaurant Chino Hills will be open every Thursday through Tuesday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, and they will be closed on Wednesdays. For more information, please visit www.TayHo.com or call Tay Ho Restaurant Chino Hills directly at 909.978.2946.Post Views: 138
By Kelsey Ridley — 1 week ago
Los Angeles’ A.O.C. Welcomes Celebrated Guest Sommelier Bobby Stuckey MS Feb 28
Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin welcome the co-owner of Frasca Food & Wine and Scarpetta Wines to A.O.C. on 3rd Street for an evening showcasing his boutique wines.
Caroline Styne and Chef Suzanne Goin will host a special evening at A.O.C. on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, featuring James Beard Foundation award-winner Bobby Stuckey of Boulder’s Frasca Food & Wine and Scarpetta Wines.
Bobby will serve as Guest Sommelier, showcasing the imported wines of Murva and his own Scarpetta Wines.
Caroline Styne has curated wine flights to be enjoyed during dinner, and guests can also choose from featured bottles from Murva or the Scarpetta wine library.
Additionally, A.O.C. will offer a selection of Italian cheeses for wine pairings. The menu will be à la carte, and reservations for the event are encouraged.
“I am beyond excited to have my idol,
Bobby Stuckey, working the floor with us at A.O.C.”
“His charisma and dedication to outstanding hospitality are inspirational.”
This evening presents a rare opportunity to meet Bobby Stuckey, a highly talented and charismatic figure in the hospitality industry.
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
5:30 – 10:00 p.m.
WHERE: A.O.C., 8700 W. 3rd Street Los Angeles, California 90049
Bobby Stuckey began his distinguished career in restaurants in his home state of Arizona, working his way from dishwasher to management, establishing his position as one of the leaders in the hospitality industry.
He joined the staff of The Little Nell restaurant in Aspen as a sommelier in 1995. During his five-year tenure, The Little Nell received numerous awards for wine and service, including Gourmet’s “Best Wine Service” Award; Mobile Travel Guide’s Five Star Hotel and Restaurant Rating; Wine Spectator’s Grand Award; and a nomination from the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Wine Service.
In 2000, Stuckey moved west to work with world-renowned chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Yountville, California.
Within his first year, Stuckey led the acclaimed restaurant’s team to earn the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine Service award and San Francisco Magazine recognized him as “Wine Director of the Year.”
The French Laundry received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant Service in 2003. It was during his tenure at The French Laundry where Bobby met his future business partner, chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson.
With the vision of opening a neighborhood restaurant reminiscent of the Italian frascas they had visited in Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, Stuckey and Mackinnon Patterson opened their first restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, in August 2004, in Boulder, Colorado. Having researched and traveled throughout Italy many times, both were deeply inspired by this region in particular — the international influences of its cuisine, the profusion of local ingredients in its rustic yet elegant dishes, its passionate relationship between food and wine, and the gracious hospitality of the locals. Receiving his Master Sommelier Diploma in 2004, Stuckey has been bestowed with some of the restaurant and wine industrys’ highest honors such as James Beard Foundation nominations for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, Outstanding Wine Service, and won the prestigious award for Outstanding Wine Service in 2013.
In 2007, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson launched Scarpetta Wines to produce Friulian white wines. They now produce over eight varietals. In January 2011, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson opened Pizzeria Locale Boulder, a full-service, contemporary pizzeria inspired by the traditional pizzerias of Naples, Italy located adjacent to sister restaurant Frasca with a similar attention to hospitality in a contemporary, laid back, interactive atmosphere. The partners also own and operate fast-fine versions of Pizzeria Locale Denver, with four locations in the Denver Metro area.
In the fall of 2017, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson, along with partners Peter Hoglund, and Continuum Partners’ Mark Falcone, opened Tavernetta in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood. Located directly off the Union Station train platform, Tavernetta is inspired by Italy’s vast culinary traditions, with a menu that celebrates authentic regional classics from across the entire country in an approachable and welcoming environment. In December 2019, they opened Sunday Vinyl, a European-inspired wine bar & restaurant dedicated to providing the highest quality analog listening experience, adjacent to Tavernetta in downtown Denver.
Frasca Food and Wine celebrated 15 years in 2019 and the same year, under Bobby’s direction, the restaurant won the 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Service (changed to Outstanding Hospitality for the 2020 Awards thanks to Bobby’s recommendation).
ABOUT SCARPETTA WINES:
Scarpetta — The drivers of Scarpetta Wine are Bobby Stuckey M.S. and Lachlan Patterson former chef de partie at The French Laundry. They conspired to open a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado and thanks to a fateful trip to the Alpine region of Italy they had their inspiration… the cuisine and culture of Friuli. Always digging deeper for Friulian inspiration, Bobby and Lachlan travel to the region several times a year, even taking their entire staff along for a week of eating, wine tasting and general Friuli-worship every summer. It was only natural that when Bobby and Lachlan dreamt about starting their own wine label they looked first to the beautiful whites of Friuli, and Scarpetta was born. Murva – Moraro and Mariano del Friuli, Isonzo – The wines produced by Alberto Pelos at Murva are pure and vibrant. Alberto, who spent many years as winemaker at Vie di Romans, describes the vineyard soils that comprise Murva’s vineyards as dolomitic, with small pebbles rich in iron and aluminum, and a high sand and clay content (feretto). He farms 4 hectares of vineyards that he owns, and 1 hectare that he farms in the center of town which is part of a community outreach program to support troubled youth. The Murva wines have distinct salinity and energy that are not to be missed by any lover of Northern Italian whites.
ABOUT THE LUCQUES GROUP:
With the opening of Lucques, their flagship restaurant, in 1998, James Beard Foundation award-winning Chef/Author Suzanne Goinand award-winning Restaurateur Caroline Styne planted the seeds for The Lucques Group, a Los Angeles hospitality company that comprises two fine dining restaurants – A.O.C. in both Los Angeles and Brentwood. Along with these culinary enterprises, the company also owns the Larder Baking Company and oversees Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine, which curates all the food and beverage outlets at L.A.’s iconic music venue. The duo also operates two new restaurants – Caldo Verde and Cara Cara, and the new Dahlia cocktail bar at the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel. The Lucques Group is dedicated to seasonally influenced cooking and focuses on sourcing local, organic produce from which Goin creates soulful dishes that are bold in flavor, vibrant, layered and complex.Post Views: 811
By Joe Winger — 4 months ago
Legendary Pittsburgh Restauranteur Joseph Costanzo Jr. Reveals all in his Tasty Memoir with “On The Rocks”
On the Rocks chronicles the real-life journey of restaurateur Joseph Costanzo Jr., from his rise to success in the 1990s as a owner of the highly acclaimed Primadonna Restaurant, radio host, columnist, and aspiring politician to his sharp fall in the early 2000s, ending in an investigation and a stint in federal prison.
Costanzo is a complex character, whom readers will admire for his confidence and rebuke for his arrogance, will love for his generosity and despise for his egotism, and will learn from in both his attention to detail and lack thereof.
This driven, not-your-average-Joe is an unforgettable character who achieves the seemingly impossible but can’t help getting in his own way. Come along with Joe for a bumpy ride on the rocks
On the Rocks: The Primadonna Story, co-written by Maria C. Palmer and Ruthie Robbins is available now on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Walmart, Target. Signed copies at the Heinz History Center. Also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Today, we’re having a conversation with all three: Joseph Costanzo Jr., co-writers Maria C. Palmer and Ruthie Robbins.
The conversation has been edited for clarity and length. Find the un-edited conversation on our FlavRReport YouTube channel.
Something that I find amazing, this book has been 17 years in the process. Is that an accurate piece of trivia?
Maria C. Palmer: 100%. Yes, that is a very accurate piece of trivia.
So way back 17 years ago, what sparked this for you?
Maria C. Palmer: A couple of things. I think that because the restaurant was such a significant part of our lives, and it was always the highlight of my father’s life. Once it went away, the spark kind of went away, too. And I wanted to bring that back in my Dad. So I started asking him lots of questions about his life. Specifically for a family history. At the time, being a writer myself, in addition to grant writing, I’m also a writer and I can really spot a good story that has commercial value.
There were just so many wonderful elements to his story. So I started recording some vignettes of different things that had happened throughout his life. But not really knowing and or intending at the time that it would be a book.
But as we went on, I saw that the potential was there and I was lucky enough to still be in contact with my former teacher, Ruthie Dines Robbins and brought the project to her and asked her if she would be willing to work on it with me.
It was really from there that we decided it would become a book and that we would work together diligently for probably 10 years together.
Ruthie Robbins: I’m only 7 years.
Joseph Costanzo Jr.: They had it in Maria’s voice originally. Ruthie was in a book club and they said, “Put it in Joe’s voice and they had to go back and change the whole book.” I watched 11, 000 emails back and forth.
Ruthie Robbins: We were not primarily emailing. We were mostly talking and texting, and that year was the pandemic year. So I was off teaching that winter and the following fall.
Before we get into the restaurant itself, what was the writing process like?
Maria C. Palmer: I can speak to the family history and just the overall process of it. It was really challenging. Because whenever you’re writing a memoir or a biography, You’re not writing a Wikipedia page. So it’s not from the time somebody is born until the time that they pass away.
You’re picking the most poignant time in their lives. Not only cherry picking all the good things that happened during that time period, but you’re picking some of the challenges too, because that’s what makes a good story.
It was challenging to figure out what the storyline was going to be and sometimes to tell those hard parts of the story.
What was even more challenging, was just the nebulous nature of the publishing industry. I just thought you wrote a book, it’s on Amazon and then people buy it. And that could not be further from the truth. Query letters. Polished one page, a 90,000 word manuscript. A whole book proposal. An entire business plan of why we’re writing the book and why it’s going to sell into the market. Requiring that much to not even get a thanks,, but just no response whatsoever.
Ruthie Robbins: Totally agree. The writing was not arduous part because Maria and I get along so well.. We’re real partners, but this publishing thing. We really didn’t understand the process, so it is difficult, and especially in this genre, [competing with] the celebrities and athletes and reality stars who wrote memoirs. They want a name on the shelf that someone will pick up in a bookstore.
Mr. Costanzo, one of my favorite parts of this book is the wine mentions. Tell us your “Pin on the wall” story.
Joseph Costanzo Jr.: Yeah we’re in a tough neighborhood, but we brought in a lot of people outside the area and upscale people, limos, what have you.
I had a bus boy and he was a really good worker. He became a server and he came to me after he got the drink order and said, ”what’s a pin on the wall?”
I never heard of a “Pin on the Wall”. So we went to the bartender. He didn’t know either. We looked it up, nothing.
So I went out there to ask the customers, so we could make it for them – and one of the most mortal sins at the Primadonna was making Joe Costanzo look bad – I said, excuse me what’s in a Pin on a Wall and they all started laughing. The guy said, “Pinot Noir.”
They’re laughing at me. That’s bad. So I went in and I really did a job on this kid. My wife grabbed me by my tie and pushed me downstairs to my office.
I was in this kid’s face because he really wasn’t real serious about the situation. If you’re going to be the best at what you’re doing, you can’t be messing up like that.
He ended up being great. Chris, who was the server, became a maitre’d and a great employee of mine. He was very loyal. I really went overboard with him and I did feel bad about it.
Reviews are incredibly important. The amount of work and effort you put in to get your Four Forks Review. Tell us a little bit about what happened.
Joseph Costanzo Jr.: Because the area was an old steel town which had a reputation of a lot of fighting, a lot of drinking, a lot of drugs, nobody would come into that area to eat.
I knew I needed credibility, and the only way I would get credibility was through the Pittsburgh Post, because the dining critic, Mike Kalina, who was a syndicated columnist, had tremendous credibility. KDKA TV, Post Gazette, New York Daily News.
For two and a half years, I kept reaching out to him. This is in a time before cell phones and emails.
But I knew if he comes down and gives us a good review, people from outside the area, from the upscale areas of the city are going to come in. That’s what happened.
But he did say to me, “You deserve four, but I’ll only give you three because you’ll never handle the business.”
That Friday night, June 3rd 1988, he was 100 percent right. People were lined up at the door. I was used to doing 10-15 dinners a night. We did over 200 dinners that night and it was a total joke. People waited two and a half hours. When food came out of the kitchen, people actually applauded. People were begging me to get him a bottle of vodka because they couldn’t get a drink at the bar.
We were short of service. We were short of bartenders. I made it all work in the next couple of weeks and I hired people.
I don’t want to ruin the upcoming movie or TV series, but when you trimmed it down, how much heartbreak was there in cutting out so many stories?
Joseph Costanzo Jr.: It was very tough. We had a book signing in August. I kept telling people they were in the book, and they were in the draft I read. But there were final touches that I didn’t see and we lost a lot of names and alot of stories. So I really felt bad. I found the actual early draft and sent copies to those people. This should be in a book, but it will be in the movie, I guarantee you.
Ruthie Robbins: It was so hard. We did a lot of fact checking when we wrote, because memories are so unreliable. We talked to people who were in the original book [draft] and they expected to be more. And on top of that, you try to end the chapter on a cliffhanger. When you take out a story that changes the number of pages in the chapter, it changes the pace of the book. That was a terrible editing challenge.
Maria, what was that like for you as the author and the daughter?
Maria C. Palmer: Originally the book was written partially in my voice and partially in my Dad’s voice. It started chronologically for me in my twenties and [had] flashbacks because the story starts in 1986 and I was very young at that time. It was confusing and it didn’t work. Everything that I wrote and all that I put my heart and soul into was all cut from the book. So now I have another book project that I’m working on.
But I will echo what my father and Ruthie said. It was hard because everybody did have a significant piece to the Primadonna story.
Mr. Costanza, it would be an easy assumption to say you’ve lived a big life. Are there one or two things you would have done differently in the stories of the book now looking back on them?
Joseph Costanzo Jr.: Sure. When you are hitting all home runs, you tend to believe that everything that you do is gonna be a home run. I had the most popular restaurant in Western Pennsylvania. Maybe I’m going to do something else, maybe I’ll go into politics.
I spent about $300,000 of my own money to put my name out there. Most people loved Joe Costanzo, but now when you get into politics it’s not that way. So that was probably my biggest regret.
My wife begged me not to do it. She said, Joe, we have a miracle here and you’re going to try for another miracle. And she was right. You may or may not like Joe Costanzo when you read the book, but you will love Donna Costanzo.
Joseph Costanzo Jr.: And that’s bottom line. Everybody says the same thing. Joe, it was great. What he did is impossible, but his wife was a saint for putting up with all this stuff that a restaurateur has to go through.
The theme of hospitality comes out in the book, but you so clearly love people. What has it been like getting all these people’s responses to this story?
Joseph Costanzo Jr.: This has been unbelievable for me. People are very happy that this all happened this way. I treated people really well and people wanted to reciprocate. So exhilarating to me. My life has been very boring, but now it’s really gotten to the point where it’s been great thanks to Maria and Ruthie.
Ruthie Robbins: It’s heartwarming. Especially from former students, the outpouring has brought me to tears sometimes. It’s reconnecting with people over the book. That has really been so wonderful
Maria C. Palmer: This has been such a 17 year journey. I always believed that there was something special about this story. Seeing that exactly what I felt in my gut for 17 years is actually playing out in real life.
Whenever we’re in Pittsburgh, it is almost surreal because people are talking about “On The Rocks and it’s really cool and crazy to know that something that you created means so much for people.
Joseph Costanzo Jr.: The big thing which is amazing to me is that the book came out August 8th, 2023. For two weeks, the book was the number one bestselling ebook on Amazon for culinary memoirs. Ahead of Anthony Bourdain’s, Kitchen Confidential and Stanley Tucci’s Taste “On the Rocks” for over two weeks was the number one overall best-selling ebook. Now that’s hard to believe because this was just a Western Pennsylvania thing and Bourdain and Tucci are worldwide known authors and entertainers.
Tell us where we can find the book and all the ways we can keep in touch with this story.
Ruthie Robbins: There’s also signed copies at the Heinz History Center.Post Views: 1,585