Have you ever watched Moonstruck? Probably not, you’ve seen The Godfather, though, right? Or Big Night? I love italian food, but I think I may love the idea of Noo Yoik italian-style delis more. The kind of place you can buy a billion types of pasta and really runny gorgonzola and crazy expensive ham and OH MY GOD the cannoli.
I always figured that these kind of places existed only in Hollywood and possibly in New York, but probably not. Thing is, I found it. Behind a poundland in Lewisham. I’ve seen the promised land, people, and it’s got a hell of a lot of pasta.
It’s even called Gennaro’s. I mean, COME ON! The guy that runs it is super-nice and genuinely appeared to be having one of those “how’s your dear mama? I have not seen her in a few days” conversations with a customer. I wandered in, looked around and tried pinching myself a few times and looking for the camera. Because this place only exists in stupid movies where Cher somehow manages to win an oscar nomination which frankly is a pilot twist too far. But against the odds it seems that for some reason, Gennaro decided to realise my dreams in a pokey backstreet on a main bus route in Leweyham. Praise be!
If you’re wanting detail, be aware that this place is a veritable treasure trove for Italian products. San Marzano tomatoes, about 15 types of olive oil, a ton of pasta and some really fun-looking cheeses wrapped in leaves. There’s even Baci (I bloody LOVE baci but I’ve never seen them for sale in the UK outside of Selfridges).
Local treasure, and one I plan on exploring further.
23 Lewis Grove, London SE13 6BG – 020 8852 1370