At Mulberry Italian Ristorante, prime pasta purveyor persists

May 10, 2022 227

BY: Andrew Galarneau

Joe Jerge couldn’t help that he wasn't born Italian, but he did what a German kid from Lackawanna could to make up for lost time. Before launching Mulberry Italian Ristorante with partners in 2005, Jerge ate his way across New York City to broaden his understanding of Italian cuisine.

From Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy, to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Jerge learned about a culture full of wonders that lay beyond quotidian spaghetti and meatballs. Back in Lackawanna, Jerge and company aimed to build a restaurant with the carefully exuberant pasta of three-star Ai Fiore and the cachet of Rao’s, the portrait-lined Frank Sinatra haunt where tables are “owned” by regulars.

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