Friday, September 2, 2011


Venezia's Restaurant is on Carrollton Avenue, close to Canal and down the street from Jesuit High, on the Avenue of Champions, in the mid part of Mid-City. One of my best memories is going there with a friend and when the waitress asked if he wanted his pizza in six slices or eight, he replied, "Just six. I'm not too hungry tonight."

Why do I like it?

Well, for starters, the big 1940/50's-style sign outside before you even wander through its portals sucks one into  a New Orleans nostalgia that seems sacrosanct. I mean, if it's been in business that long, and in a restaurant city that plays an integral and vital place in restaurant Americana, then that's saying something; there must really be something authentic about the place. And even before you begin the real meal, you can sit down for a plate of fried eggplant and a salad for which even your Sicilian grandmother might be inclined to cultivate a Sicilian envy.

Perhaps the standard by which all Italian restaurants in New Orleans can be judged is the basic and traditional meatball and spaghetti dish. Here it is primo. Ask them to add a sausage.

Impeccable service. A satisfying and authentic meal. A serene atmosphere with Italian music. A delightful escape. A trip to Venezia's will not disappoint.

Follow that up with a little walk for dessert and espresso a few doors down at Brocato's--I especially recommend the cassata and/or cannoli--and you have had arguably as much of a NEW ORLEANS ITALIAN experience as is possible in the middle of the week in late summer.

Yours always,
Vince Liberto

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Orleans Italian Profile: Roy Liberto--8/24/11

In a simple, late-at-night kind of way, I'd like to begin these profiles close to home and write a little something about a great New Orleans Italian musician who I always thought was underrated in a colossal way. I don't just say this because he was my uncle; Roy Liberto was a truly proficient New Orleans musician in every way.

Where might I begin? For starters he was--according to one of his old vinyl albums--a regular on the Mike Douglas and Ed Sullivan shows way back when being on television was a huge deal. He was a main character in a movie that played at (I think it was) the Globe Theater on Canal Street. If you went to New York you might have seen him on a billboard  with Gene Krupa. One time I visited his home in Arabi I found pictures of him on stage with some of the biggest celebrities of his time..and on and on and on. He played Dixieland music. He was the real thing. It's really incredible to think that he was my uncle.

One time Al Hirt told me that the only difference between him and Roy Liberto was a good manager.

If you click on the link below, it will show how credible he was being on a lable like United Artists. That speaks for itself. If you look closely at the picture, you will see that he was about as good looking as any man could get.
Vince Liberto,r:2,s:0&tx=70&ty=23

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Beginning

As we kick off this new blog, let me give a big and enthusiastic hello to all seeking a deeper understanding and appreciation of three dynamic wonders: New Orleans, Italians, and (combining those two great things to make a third) "New Orleans Italians".

Through this blog it is my hope that we together can explore all that makes New Orleans the greatest city in the world, with a special interest in a vital corner of that city--the Italian part.

Let us begin with great Italian influences in  the city.

What is one of your favorite Italian restaurants in the city?