Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Colombos and Bonannos held sitdown over theft of pizza recipe

 Real Estate of The Square Pizza shop attached to 1910 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island NY. (Bryan Pace/for New York Daily News)
A GANGLAND WAR nearly erupted over pizza — but luckily, cooler heads prevailed during a sitdown at a Panera Bread cafe, a mob turncoat told Brooklyn jurors Wednesday.
Ex-Colombo capo Anthony Russo delivered delicious testimony about a former mob pal whose blood boiled like a simmering red sauce when he heard a Bonanno associate had stolen a family recipe.
Colombo associate Francis Guerra flipped his lid when he learned Eugene Lombardo stole the secret sauce recipe from his in-laws’ famed Brooklyn eatery, L&B Spumoni Gardens, to use at an upstart pizzeria, Russo said.

Lombardo, whose sons worked at L&B, had opened “The Square” in Staten Island and started serving slices that looked and tasted suspiciously like those at L&B.
“Frankie (Guerra) told me they caught Geno down in the basement looking at the supplies, the flour,” Russo said. “He was angry, he wanted to hurt Gene.”
Russo recalled how he, Guerra and Colombo goon Frank "Frankie Notch" Iannaci took a ride to Staten Island, where they confronted the rival pizza maker.
Iannaci started banging on the window where a sign brazenly advertised “L&B-style” pizza.
“Gene came out and (Guerra) started yelling at him. He told him he’s a ‘piece of s---, a s---bag, robbed my family, I’ll break your head!’ ” Russo said.
Iannaci upped the stakes by slapping Lombardo during the confrontation.
Later, Russo was summoned to a sitdown by Bonanno soldier Anthony Calabrese, meeting him at a Panera Bread in Staten Island. The Colombos demanded a slice of Lombardo’s pizza parlor or a onetime payment of $75,000.
But Calabrese was Solomon-like in his wisdom.
“He (Calabrese) said, ‘Are we gonna go after every pizzeria that puts sauce on their slice?’ ” Russo said. “I said, ‘You got a point there.’ ”
Lombardo agreed to pay $4,000 to settle the dispute.
“I told Frank to take the offer. It was ridiculous to go any further with it, just accept the money and move on,” he said.
Calabrese took a $1,500 cut, gave $500 to the crime family’s consigliere and Guerra kept the rest, according to Russo.
Asked why he took a piece of Guerra’s family sauce money, Russo replied: “We’re partners in everything.”
Russo, an 11th-grade dropout, struggled to describe L&B, whose Sicilian-style slices are considered among the best in New York City.
“It’s a famous pizzeria,” he said. “Their pizza, their Spumoni, their ices.”
Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Nicole Argentieri probed further as to what makes L&B so special.
“They put the sauce on top of the cheese,” Russo said.
There’s lots of comparing of The Square to L&B by foodies on the website yelp.com, with many advising that the Staten Island pizzeria is a good alternative for those who don’t want to cross the Verrazano Bridge to go back to the old neighborhood.
Lombardo did not return a call seeking comment.
Guerra is on trial in Brooklyn Federal Court for extortion in connection with the sauce dispute.


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