Chef Franco Ortega's famed welcome plate of bread includes panzerotti (like a mini-calzone), fresh focaccia and sliced bread with a whole head of roasted garlic in its fragrant, garlic-infused oil. (Staten Island Advance/Pamela Silvestri)
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — In Little Italy, Chef Franco Ortega launched his food service career in New York City. He first anchored himself in the kitchens of Casa Bella and Pelligrino’s on Mulberry Street. But it was his next gig at Italianissimo in South Beach where he ultimately found a professional home and a path to proprietorship.
In this episode of The Dish, Ortega talks about his career and breaks some news: he purchased the Italianissimo digs at 107 McClean Avenue. Long time Staten Islanders will remember this building as the address of former Il Ponte.
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