Places that Matter

Piemonte Home Made Ravioli

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Piemonte Ravioli, photo by Elena Martinez
Piemonte Ravioli, photo by Elena Martinez
Piemonte Ravioli, photo by Elena Martinez
Piemonte Ravioli, photo by Elena Martinez
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The Piemonte Ravioli Company was established in 1920 by an immigrant from Genoa. In 1955 Mario Bertorelli from Parma took over the store, which he and his son, Flavio, continue to operate. They array a full line of fresh pasta which they make daily in their warehouse in Woodside.  The variety of pastas include: ravioli, tortellini, manicotti, cannelloni, stuffed shells, gnocchi, cavetelli, linguine, fettucini, lasagna. Homemade and dried pastas fill the racks from end to end. The pastas are stuffed with everything from spinach and cheese to seafood, meats, and vegetables.

In 2010, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to hold public hearings for six Manhattan sites, a step that typically results in designating the properties as landmarks. The buildings include two Federal-style brick houses at 190 and 192 Grand Street in Little Italy, constructed in 1820. The pasta company Piemonte Ravioli occupies the ground floor at 190 Grand, and Florio's Ristorante is next door at 192 Grand Street. 

When the wealthy Stephen Van Rensselaer constructed the row of handsome brick Federal-style residences on Grand Street between Mulberry and Mott Street between 1832 and 1834, the area was populated by affluent merchant-class citizens. Built as investment properties, the row included numbers190 and 192 Grand Street.  In accordance with the changes in the neighborhood, at 190 Grand Street a millinery shop soon occupied the first floor and by the time of the Civil War the upper floors were divided into a rooming house. In 1890 Edward Strodel ran a musical instrument shop there. By now the brownstone stoop had been removed and the commercial floor lowered to street level. At this time the nearby Bowery area was known as Kleindeutschland, or “Little Germany,” and upstairs the rooming house was filled with renters with German names and German chatter filled the halls.  Eventually Italian immigrants filled the Grand Street area.  Francesco Rosario Stabile purchased the house in February 1901 from Max Ottinger and Max Korn, who had purchased it from the Van Rennselaer estate only a year earlier. Of the four families living upstairs at this time, three were Italian and only one, now, was German; reflecting the heavy influx of Italian immigrants. Within the decade only Italian-named renters would live here.  Not until the 1970’s would a resident with a non-Italian name rent here.

As the neighborhood has drastically changed—from an elegant residential area to a commercial neighborhood of German immigrants, to part of Little Italy and now ethnically diverse including a large Chinese population—the two Federal houses at numbers 190 and 192 Grand Street have survived remarkably intact above the street level.