Maybe you make regular trips to the Bronx to eat meatballs. Maybe you grew up down the block from an Italian grocer in New Jersey. No matter your red sauce background, Nicole Albano claims, you’ve never eaten anything like her grandmother’s cooking.
“I bet very few people, if any, in Charleston have ever experienced Italian-American food like this,” says Albano, who’s spearheading a pop-up Butcher & Bee dinner with Ann Albano at the stove. “Though there are very good Italian restaurants in Charleston, and plenty of relocated northeast Italian Americans from New York, Boston and Philadelphia, I would say that most are likely more familiar with Italian-American restaurant food.”
By contrast, Albano says, her “nan” works in a Depression-era idiom which prizes versatile, belly-filling dishes. Although the menu for the Oct. 27 event hasn’t yet been finalized, Albano’s specialties include fried zucchini, stuffed artichokes and chicken parmigiana. Continue reading