Thanks to his years of participation in the YANKEE LEGENDS Fantasy Camps, Carmine Gangone has developed quite a rapport with a number of key MLB alumni, the result of which is an intimate and friendly environment for these semi-regular dinners.
And that’s another thing, let’s not forget – these are dinners! It shouldn’t even have to be said, but where CARMINE’S “EVENINGS WITH BASEBALL LEGENDS” truly shine, especially when compared to other such affairs, is in the quality and quantity of food provided their guests. Fried calamari, sausage and peppers, penne pasta, veal marsala, and all in tremendous abundance. It’s the kind of grand culinary gesture that makes regular customers immediately of the event’s highly loyal following.
Beginning in 2006, The Gangones have been hosting their “EVENINGS WITH BASEBALL LEGENDS” for a variety of worthy causes, ranging anywhere from Smile Train, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and the Hope & Heroes Children's Cancer Fund to the funding of a scholarship at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, in memory of a dear friend – the late Arthur Curry. The more successful the dinners become, the more they put back into the effort to turn around and raise money on behalf of yet another worthy charity.
All in all, just another sure sign that here in this corner of Williamsburg, Brooklyn – with an emphasis on good food, good friends, and good times – rest assured, CARMINE’S is also an establishment with its heart in the right place, too.
If you’re interested in hearing about future baseball events at CARMINE’S, please email Carmine Gangone at email@example.com. You’ll definitely be glad you did!
The Gangone family journey is the kind of Italian-American success story you probably thought you’d only see in the movies. It’s a journey that begins just over 30 years ago in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is as much about the values of hard work and a life-long dream as it is about a neighborhood that for years has been the apple of New York’s eye and is about to enjoy some of the most exuberant growth it’s seen in years.
In 1979, Gaetano Gangone opened up RAY’S PIZZERIA at 346 Graham Avenue, near the corner of bustling Metropolitan Avenue. It was somewhat of a boom time in the area, as a new generation of Italian immigrants gradually improved upon the Brooklyn that their turn-of-the-century compatriots had sought as their second home.
In a city (and a neighborhood!) known for pizza, Gangone quickly developed a reputation for consistently good pies, exceptional sauce, and a tasty variety of other Italian dishes, heroes and the like that kept the popular eatery busy day in and day out.
In 1994, son Carmine took the reins, re-naming it CARMINE’S in the process. Under his supervision, the family pizzeria soon came to be seen as more of a full-fledged restaurant as Carmine himself sought to introduce the mom ’n’ pop style dishes of Italian cuisine that he grew up with to the new crop of immigrants populating the neighborhood, the young renters who seemingly came from everywhere – California, the Mid West, Manhattan. Success came so quickly under the younger Gangone’s stewardship that CARMINE’S was soon forced to seek expanded quarters, and fortunately moved not too far away, right down the block to 358 Graham Avenue.
It was here in this newly spacious environment that Carmine Gangone was also able to create a shrine to his beloved Yankees, featuring a host of signed photographs, jerseys, bats, and other memorabilia, as well as a one-of-a-kind Yankee Stadium mural which stands proudly just outside the main entrance. Combine that kind of atmosphere with some of the best Grandma Pizza you’re ever going to find, some of the best calzone you’ve ever tasted, the best sausage ‘n’ peppers, eggplant rollatini, you name it – and what you’ve got is easily one of Williamsburg’s most popular eating destinations. Definitely something to be proud of, given how fickle the newcomers’ tastes can sometimes be.
At present, CARMINE’S looks to the West (well, Union Avenue anyway) for even greater opportunity. Just as his flagship location is especially convenient to L train commuters who make use of the Graham Avenue stop, so too will this newest incarnation of CARMINE’S cater to those who favor the Lorimer Street and Metropolitan Avenue stops. But honestly, folks, when you’ve got some of the best Italian-American cuisine going, it doesn’t really matter where you’re located, people are going to come looking for you.
As far as the sports and memorabilia charity circuit goes, there are baseball dinners, and there are baseball dinners – but if truth be told, there aren’t any baseball dinners quite like the series of “EVENINGS WITH BASEBALL LEGENDS” that Carmine Gangone and his family host at their Williamsburg restaurant on a regular basis.
For one thing, those fortunate enough to attend these affairs really get to spend some quality time with some of the YANKEE and MET heroes who participate. Probably because special guests feel so comfortable here, they are always more than happy to pose for photos, sign autographs – heck, some have even been known to sit down and have a bite with you! Folks like Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Goose Gossage, Ron Blomberg, Mickey Rivers, Joe Pepitone, and many more.