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Mangia bene, Beverly!

Let’s go back to the November 2009 Ciope Hunt! Apparently, there are a couple of people who have a ciope recipe: Gloria Slivensky from Minnesota and Tony Maro of Chicago. I came across Gloria on the website Chowhound and the next time she makes ciope, she is going to photograph the process. Tony Maro posted photos on Facebook of ciope he made last year and plans to forward me the recipe. For the time being we’re in a holding pattern until someone shares their ciope recipe with us but I’ll keep you posted.

Talking about food has sparked my desire for some authentic Italian food just like when we were kids. There were a number of places where us Roselandites could take care of our “mangia italiano” fix: Pannetti’s, Torino’s, Angelo Piolatto’s, Dal Santo’s, Frigo’s, Spigolo’s or the Bernardi Brother’s Pullman Wine & Liquors. With the exception of Dal Santo’s in Steger, those businesses are long gone.

It turns out that some of the people that moved west of Roseland to Beverly, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood and further southwest have a place where they can get their Italian fix and pick up a copy of Fra Noi right on 103rd Street. Calabria Imports (773-396-5800) has been located at 1905 W. 103rd St. for the past eight years, while their previous location was on Western Avenue in Blue Island. When Pat Roberto made the move to 103rd Street, he took note of his client’s preferences and tailored his store to accommodate them and continues to refine those offerings.

Pat specializes in offering an outstanding deli selection and ready-made meals. These meals are prepared often and offer an authentic Italian family meal at a reasonable price that requires minimal time from cooking to serving. Being close to the METRA Beverly Stop at 103rd Street enables neighborhood residents to pick up a prepared supper, bring it home, pop it in the oven and, by the time they’ve changed clothes and set the table with a bottle of Italian red, they have a hot Italian meal ready and waiting.

That would take care of those that live within five miles of Calabria Imports but what about those that live further? For me, it’s a 25-minute ride, which I combine with other South Side visits and errands. I take advantage of the fact that Pat Roberto not only focuses on prepared meals and catering but also inside dining. I have had some great Italian sandwiches chosen from their extensive menu or one of their daily specials made right in Calabria’s kitchen. In addition, this is the only place I know of, besides Harry Caray’s, where I can get “Homemade Fresh Potato Chips,” which is one long string of a potato — cut and fried. The sandwiches are awesome and the staff is friendly and accommodating. As Pat Roberto told me, besides great food, one of the essential ingredients of his recipe for offering an outstanding dining experience is to have an excellent staff — and that is the Calabria Imports experience.

In Memoriam

Tony Lofrano, 90, Dyer, formerly of Thornton and Roseland, 50-year member St. Anthony Holy Name Bowling League, husband of the late Margarita nee Cracco, father of Emily and Rev. Carmella … Genevieve “Genny” Valente, nee Jawor, 81, Dolton, formerly of Roseland, wife of the late Mario … Mary Louise Benedetto, nee Dalle Molle, 69, wife of Nicholas Benedetto, formerly of Roseland.

Note e Notizie

St. Anthony’s will host an alumni Mass for the Class of 1961 at 9:30 a.m. and a St. Joseph Table on March 20. … The Veneti nel Mondo will host a Carnevale at our Lady of Mt. Carmel on March 6, and a monthly meeting on March 13 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Oak Forest. Call Anna Galvan at 815-463-9303. … Spaghetti-Os will meet on March 29 at Carlos Lorenzetti’s, Chicago Heights. Get your table together for Spaghetti-Os dinner dance on Nov. 13. $50 for open bar, dining and dancing. This is the perfect opportunity for school or family reunions. … Correction and thank you to Aldo DeBenedetti for his information on SAYPA. … On a personal note, I am proud to announce that my daughter and her husband, Jamie and Eric Reinhardt, are expecting their first child (and my first grandchild) at the end of August.

Contact CJ Martello: 1501 W. Belmont, #708, Chicago 60657; 773-525-7823; cjfranoi@yahoo.com; Online: Roseland Roundtable on Facebook

About C.J. Martello

CJ Martello has returned to his roots as the author of “Petals from Roseland.” After five years of writing his column as a resident of Chicago's North Side, CJ put his money where his heart is and moved to Pullman, near the Roseland area in which he grew up. Having joined the Spaghetti-Os, Veneti nel Mondo and St. Anthony of Padua Parish and being one of the founders of the Roseland Roundtable Facebook page, CJ has become reacquainted with countless friends and acquaintances from his youth. CJ is looking forward to retirement and completing the books he has put on hold, including one that will encompass as much of Roseland's rich, beloved history as possible.