Monday, January 18, 2010

Relishing the memory of Mancuso's Gondola Restaurant

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Kathy -- a Fat City reader in Fort Wayne, Indiana -- wrote us to ask about a restaurant that she remembered from her childhood in Kansas City:

"My parents took us to Maranzino's on Wornall at least once a week in the 1950s ... wonderful memories. And my glands still water 50 years later when I recall a relish they served. We would buy a quart from the kitchen to take home. It must be a family recipe as each garadiniera I have tried is too hot, too chopped or too oily. Are any Maranzino's still in KC who might have the old family recipe?"

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​I don't know if there are any Maranzinos in Kansas City, but there are members of the Mancuso family -- the restaurant Kathy's referring to is probably Mancuso's Gondola Restaurant. Chef Jasper Mirabile, Jr. of Jasper's Restaurant remembers that it stood across the street from the original Jasper's Restaurant at 75th and Wornall.

The relish that Kathy mentions, giardiniera, is a marinated vegetable salad that is, like the traditional American relish plate, often served before meals. I've enjoyed plates of giardiniera with bread or crackers in the homes of many Italian-American hosts; my parents used to serve it to friends who stopped by for a glass of wine.

Because most cooks put their own spin on the dish -- some prefer it spicy, others like it blander and crunchier -- each version can be different. But if anyone has a copy of the old Mancuso's recipe, we'll be happy to pass it on to Kathy.

(Image of Mancuso's Gondola Restaurant courtesy of OldKC.com)

 

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