The Godfather. Zoetrope, All Story. Tetro. Mamarella’s. Five Oscars. Thirty-six nominations. These are all the creations and accomplishments of Francis Ford Coppola. His latest, Mamarella’s, previewed last week in a small industrial park complex in
The question here is, why would people with real jobs want to open a restaurant? Obviously, for Coppola its part of his creative empire and also a place where he can go and get a slice of pie that brings back the memories of youth.
Having grown up in an Italian family, Sunday night was always pizza night at my uncle’s. Sheet pan Focaccia pizza was traditionally served at his home for anyone who wanted to stop by after the Sunday afternoon family feasts we shared at my grandfather’s. Squares of the thick crust where topped with tomatoes and basil and mozzarella and served with glasses of Chianti made in my grandfather’s basement and offered to anyone who was old enough to lift a glass with one hand.
Coppola’s Roman styled pizza, served from a case in front of the restaurant, presented in the sheet pan, sliced into squares, and offered at room temperature or warmed in the wood burning oven, spurned the memory of family, yesterday.
Taking the first bite, I could see my uncles and aunts, my mother and cousins, sitting around the table, speaking in Italian and English about this one and that one.
The pizza was covered with mushrooms and cheese and tomato sauce but the flavors that came from each bite were more subliminal than I ever could have imagined. It didn’t seem as tasty as my uncles, but then nothing can equal the flavor of a memory.
And that my friends, is why we open restaurants.