STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Is Enoteca Maria getting ready to reopen soon?
The 11-year old, St. George restaurant at 27 Hyatt Street, famed for its concept of a different Nonna cooking each night, has been closed since March 2020.
Proprietor Jody Scaravella predicts, “We are hoping it will be safe enough to invite the Nonne back by late spring/early summer.”
In the meantime the female chefs who normally have staffed the small eatery have produced their signature sauces for the patron’s consumption at home. All preparations are available on the restaurant’s website, EnotecaMaria.com, with UPS as a delivery option. Pick-up is available for locals from Wednesday through Saturday by appointment.
Tomato-based sauce options for 32-ounce jars include the eggplant-centric Sugo alla Norma, Nonna Domenica’s Ragu (made with meat), the Marinara Dolcissimo and a Spicy Puttanesca cooked with anchovies, capers and black olives. Prices on these sizes range from $13 to $15.
As the restaurant’s food repertoire has expanded over the years into international eats, the to-go inventory expands outside of the Italian arena.
A 16-ounce container of Spicy Tamarind sells for $10. Scaravella explains this as “a Trinidadian staple used as a topping for the most well-known carnival street foods.” He suggests serving it atop roti bread and other foods of the Caribbean or presented as a sandwich accoutrement.
Ward Hill resident Anthony Martinez, a fan of the tangy stuff, enthuses over the tamarind sauce’s flavors and versatility. He maintains, “It makes a great marinade. It has enough heat in it to make it interesting and enough of a base to a marinade. I throw some honey in it and a bit of sesame oil, fish sauce, just to kick it up a little bit.”
Also for sale are 4-ounce and 8-ounce curry powder packages for $5 and $7, respectively. These hail from Enoteca’s Nonna Dolly of Sri Lanka. Scaravella points to it for seasoning lentil stew, chicken, meat, seafood and veggie curries.
A “Nonnas of the World” apron ($25) and “Nonnas of the World” tote ($20) are for purchase as well.
Prices include tax. To order, email [email protected] and include the shipping address. The restaurant accepts personal checks via snail and electronic deposit.
IS ENOTECA S.I.’S MOST FAMOUS RESTAURANT?
Enoteca was born on Staten Island in the winter of 2007. “Enoteca” means “wine bar” and the restaurant has always maintained a carefully curated wine list.
In its Enoteca’s earliest days, female cooks from various Italian regions starred each night in the kitchen with their family recipes headlining on the menu. The novel idea grabbed attention of food bloggers and news outlets city-wide. Indeed, since its onset, the Hyatt street hole-in-the-wall has captured worldwide attention. Scaravella and his Nonnas, many of them Staten Island residents, have appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, Food Network and scores of other globally viewed broadcasts.
After eight years in business, the St. George restaurant expanded its concept to guest chefs from around the world with grandmas from Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Lebanon stepping up to the stove. And in 2017, Scaravella hit the airwaves with Enoteca’s first cookbook, “Nonna’s House: Cooking and Reminiscing with the Italian Grandmothers of Enoteca Maria” (Atria Books). Owner and Nonnas began a book tour with the crew with a kick-off signing at Barnes & Noble, then in New Springville.
Enoteca Maria is located at 27 Hyatt St. in St. George and can be reached at 718-447-2777 or EnotecaMaria.com.