A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 14, 2009
Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine (a pasta dish with Parmesan cheese, butter and cream) had been served at Italian restaurants in the 1800s, but Alfredo di Lelio’s restaurant Alfredo on the Via della Scrofa in Rome in 1914 put the dish on the world’s culinary map. Author Sinclair Lewis praised the restaurant’s fettuccine as early as 1922 in his novel Babbitt. By 1927, Alfredo was knighted the king of fettuccine.

The “fettuccine al burro” dish was called “fettuccine al Alfredo” in 1956 and “Fettuccine Alfredo” in 1957. A New York restaurant called “Alfredo of Rome” is located at Rockefeller Center (4 West 49th Street) and specializes in the signature dish.


Wikipedia: Fettuccine alfredo
Fettuccine alfredo is a pasta dish made from fettuccine pasta tossed with Parmesan cheese, butter, and heavy cream. As the cheese melts, it emulsifies the liquids to form a smooth and rich coating on the pasta. Although it was named by an Italian restaurateur, at his restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa in Rome, it is largely an American dish, essentially the same as the Italian dish Fettuccine al burro e panna ‘fettuccine with butter and cream’. In Italy, the name ‘Alfredo’ is rarely used and the sauce is never named or prepared separately from the dish. In American cuisine, it is often mixed with other ingredients such as parsley, garlic, shrimp and chicken.

History
Pasta tossed with cheese and butter or cream has a long history both in Italy and abroad.

It was popularized among American tourists in Rome by the restaurateur Alfredo di Lelio, who served it with his own name attached:

Fettuccine al burro is associated in every tourist’s mind with Rome, possibly because the original Alfredo succeeded in making its serving a spectacle reminiscent of grand opera.”

The restaurant’s story is that the dish was invented by di Lelio at his restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa in 1914 as a variation of fettuccine al burro. When butter was added both before and after fettuccine was put in the serving bowl, the butter was known as doppio burro (double butter). Di Lelio’s original contribution was to double the amount of butter in the bowl before the fettuccine would be poured in, thus a triplo burro (triple butter) effect instead of double, which he started doing for his pregnant wife, who was having difficulty keeping food down. When his wife began eating again, Alfredo added the new dish to his restaurant’s menu.

A long-time customer recounted that di Lelio’s restaurant became famous when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stopped into his restaurant and fell in love with the dish while on their honeymoon in 1927. To express their gratitude, they gave him a golden fork and spoon along with a photo of them eating in his restaurant. He proudly displayed the photo on the wall of his small restaurant. When Pickford and Fairbanks returned to Hollywood, they served his dish to their friends and associates. Word about that new meal quickly spread.

Alfredo di Lelio finally retired in 1938 and sold his restaurant, photos and all, to Mario Mozzetti’s grandfather. He kept the restaurant’s name, menu, and everything else. That restaurant is still in business today, run by Mario Mozzetti.

When Rome prepared for a large religious celebration in 1959, some local businessmen tracked down Alfredo di Lelio and offered to build him a new restaurant. He was retired, but he agreed to show up and act as a greeter there. When the religious holiday arrived, old customers showed up and had their photos taken for the walls of the “new” restaurant located at 30 Piazza Augusto Imperatore, a few blocks north of his original location.

That expansion continued in 1977 when Alfredo II and Guido Bellanca opened a new “Alfredo’s” by Rockefeller Center in New York City to serve it. The walls of that restaurant are plastered with drawings by Al Hirschfeld - including the rest rooms. Another Alfredo’s opened in the Epcot Park in Lake Buena Vista. As of September, the Epcot branch is closed.

Despite the story, references to fettuccine alfredo in American books and newspapers are sparse until about 1980. Fettuccine Alfredo has now become ubiquitous in Italian-American restaurants in the United States, though in Italy, it is mostly served to American tourists.

Alfredo.com
“Alfredo has taken time to build into a superior Italian restaurant in New York since opening in 2001. Now it ranks among the best, not only for the marvelous dish that bears it’s name, but for across-the-menu specialities and traditional dishes made with real care and devotion to ingredients.”
Alfredo.com - New York
“Alfredo of Rome is named for the original Roman restaurant where fettuccine Alfredo was created in 1914. it occupies 8000sq. feet at exciting Rockefeller Center, at 4 west 49th Street. The dining room seats 250, in a retro 1960’s Art Deco setting, surrounded by six-by-16 foot portriats by Al Hirschfeld and dozens of black and white photos of clebrities.”

Epicurious.com - Food Dictionary
fettuccine Alfredo
[feht-tuh-CHEE-nee al-FRAY-doh]
Roman restaurateur Alfredo di Lello is credited with creating this dish in the 1920s. The FETTUCCINE is enrobed in a rich sauce of butter, grated PARMESAN CHEESE, heavy cream and plentiful grindings of black pepper. Other noodles may be substituted for the fettuccine.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: fet·tuc·ci·ne
Variant(s): or fet·tuc·ci·ni or fet·tu·ci·ne or fet·tu·ci·ni \ˌfe-tə-ˈchē-nē\
Function: noun plural but singular or plural in construction
Etymology: Italian, plural of fettuccina, diminutive of fettuccia small slice, ribbon, diminutive of fetta slice, probably alteration of *offetta, from offa flour cake, from Latin
Date: 1912
: pasta in the form of narrow ribbons ; also : a dish of which fettuccine forms the base

(Oxford English Dictionary)
fettuccine
[It., pl. of fettuccina, dim. of fetta slice, ribbon.]
An Italian pasta made in strips or ribbons.
1922 S. LEWIS Babbitt xv. 196 A little trattoria..where you get the best fettuccine in the world.
1962 Sunday Express 18 Feb. 22/5 The Italians..are justly proud of their Ferraris, their fettuccine, their females.
1964 Guardian 22 May 8/5 Fettuccine, long wide noodles with egg.

16 May 1913, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “The World’s Cooks: Finocchio and Fettuccine” by Jane Eddington, pg. 15:
THE path to any humble spot in Rome is almost sure to lead by monuments of ancient glory or modern splendor. So leads the path to Scarpone’s a humble osteria in the Roman campagna. To get to this it is necessary to climb the Janiculum,... 

Google Books
Babbitt
By Sinclair Lewis
New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace and Company
1922
Pg. 382:
“No, what I really go for is: there’s a little trattoria on the Via della Scrofa where you get the best fettuccine in the world.”

Google Books
Southern Italy: Including Rome, Sicily, and Sardinia
By Findlay Muirhead, Luigi Vittorio Bertarelli, Consociazione turistica itailana, Touring club italiano
Edition: 2
Published by Macmillan and co., ltd.
1925
Pg. 4:
...d’ Alfredo, 104 a, Via della Scrofa, noted for fettuccine al burro;...

So You’re Going to Rome!
by Calara E. Laughlin
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company
Copyright, 1925 and 1928
Pg. 351:
Most travellers would blush to admit they had been in Rome and had not eaten Alfredo’s fettucine al burro, a sort of macaroni with butter, which has netted Alfredo both fame and fortune. Alfredo is at 104 Via della Scrofa.

6 May 1927, Cumberland (MD) Evening Times, pg. 6, cols. 2-3:
Knighted For His Spaghetti
How Alfredo Mixes Titled Fettuccine

(Photo Caption: “Alfredo di Lelio mixing fettuccine for a patron.")
By ALICE ROHE
NEA Service Special Correspondent
Rome, May 6.—All the world knows that spaghetti is the reigning idsh in Italy. But what the world does not know perhaps is that the reigning king of Italy has knighted the owner of a little restaurant in Rome as the best spaghetti maker in the world.

Thirty Varieties
In Rome, of course, there are no less than thirty varieties of pasta which Americans classify under the one head of spaghetti. The king’s decoration was given for fettuccine.

Alfredo di Lelio is the restauranteur (sic) knighted for his macsiose (majestic) fettuccine. On his menus he has the distinction of calling himself Cavaliere delle fettuccino—:Knight of the Spaghetti,” to use the general term.

Always the Best
Fettuccine is made of egg, white flour and water. But Alfredo says his success is due to the fact that no matter what vicissitudes befall his country he has always succeeded in getting the best ingredients.

“During the war I found a way,” he told me at his restaurant. As he talked his mustache rose., making him look like an amiable Italian twin of the ex-kaiser. “Kings, princes, ministers have eaten here. The crown prince of Sweden is one of my patrons. And Americans—look!” he displayed a pile of cards from well-known Americans endorsing his fettuccine as the best ever.

“And look at this.” He produced a copy of “Babbitt” and to my surprise discovered a line in that work in which a worldy woman says that she only goes to Rome to eat the most delicious fettuccine in the world in a little trattoria (restaurant) in the Via della Scrofa.

Alfredo beamed, for his restaurant is the famous Trattoria Alfredo in the Piazza della Scorfa (sic) where every epichurian eventually wends his way.

Lewis a Patron
“Sinclair ate here often,” he said.

People go to Alfredo’s not only to eat his delicious fettuccine but to see him prepare it after it has been cooked. A waiter brings it from the kitchen. Alfredo approaches with spoon and fork as though advancing to a sacrificial rite. He poises fork and spoon aloft aesthetically and then begins to mix into the fettuccine a generous supply of the best butter and grated Parmesan cheese.

Doubles Up
“Double quantity of butter and cheese and well mixed—that is my secret,” says Alfredo, while everyone in the restaurant watches. No orchestra conductor is more spectacular than Alfredo when he mixes his beloved fettuccine.

Indeed, the two most discussed by-products of modern Italy are Fascimo and fettuccine. And there may be some connection between the two, for Arnaldo Mussolini, editor of the Popolo d’Italia and the premier’s brother, is an old patron of Alfredo’s.

8 June 1929, Modesto (CA) News-Herald, “Rector’s Recipes” by George Rector, pg. 10, col. 1:
I AM going to give a recipe to-day for noodles Alfredo, as prepared by Alfredo himself in his tiny restaurant in Rome, Italy. The act of mixing the butter and cheese through the noodles becomes quite a ceremony, and as busy as Alfredo is with other duties he manages to be at each table when the waiter arrives with the platter of “fettuccine” to be mixed by him.

Noodles Alfredo
Cook noodles in boiling salted water for twnety minutes. Drain in colander and hold under cold water to separate, then hold under hot water to reheat. Drain, place noodles on a large, hot platter, sprinkle top with grated Parmesan cheese and add three lumps of butter about the size of a small egg. Now take a large spoon and a fork and lift noodles from platter until butter and cheese are thoroughly blended with the noodles. Alfredo spends at least seven minutes blending the butter and cheese through the noodles.

3 June 1932, Indiana (PA) Evening Gazette, “How to Eat Spaghetti” by George Rector, pg. 15, col. 4:
The best form of pasta is fettuccine, and some of the best fettuccine is published by Alfredo, Cavaliera della Corona d’Italia. Alfredo doesn’t make fettuccine. He doesn’t cook it. He achieves it.

I could go on for hours, painting the picture of Alfredo achieving his fettuccine. The ritual is as solemn and as breath taking as the majestic sight of the sun sinking over mountain tops. Rich calm beauty, and a deep promise of what is to come, plus an indefinable mystery. Yes, I know I’m waqxing poetic, but I stand my ground. Alfredo’s fettuccine is poetry.

10 December 1939, New York (NY) Herald Tribune This Week magazine, pg. 11, col. 3:
Finally there is the recipe for spaghetti (Col. 4—ed.) which Mr. Morro got from the famous Alfredo in Rome. It’s a very simple one but a great favorite among distinguished gourmets visiting Rome. We call it

Alfredo’s Spaghetti
1 package (8 oz.) spaghetti
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup grated cheese
Cook spaghetti in boiling, salted water according to directions on package. While hot dot generously with butter; turn until butter is melted. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Yield 4-6 servings.

28 February 1951, Uniontown (PA) Evening Standard, “He Meets His First King” by Henry McLemore, pg. 4, col. 2:
ROME—I met my first king last night.
(...)
This jiggling monarch of 70 years of age was Alfredo the First, King of the Noodles, or in Italian, “Il Vero Re Delle Fettuccine.”

His “palace” is a sparkling new restaurant on the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, and his history as a king, particularly during the last year, is filled with enough intrigue to have delighted the heart of a Borgia.

Briefly, this is King Alfredo’s story.

In 1905 Alfredo, an unknown chef then, opened a small restaurant on the Alla Scrofa, and in a few years it was world famous, due to Alfredo’s genius at preparing fettuccine, which is noodles with a cheese and butter sauce. The walls were lined with autographed pictures of the world’s mighty who had sought out the tiny restaurant on the mean little street.

Fettuccine is as old as the Tiber, but Alfredo’s mixing of the dish transformed the flour, egg and water into something fit for the gods. In 1927 George Rector, in an article in the SATURDAY EVENING POST, hailed Alfredo as a master worthy to stand alongside the geniuses of art, literature, and music.

Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford presented him with a golden fork and spoon with which to mix and serve his noodles. Inscribed on the handles is a tribute to “Alfredo, King of the Noodles.”

The money rolled in through the years and Alfredo’s moustache grew in proportion. By 1943 he had all the lire he could ever spend and a set of moustachios that required more and more care.

When war rationing made it impossible for him to get the flour, eggs, and butter he needed to make his famous dish, he sold out lock, stock and barrel to two of his faithful old waiters, and retired. he gave them his pictures, his guest books, his recipe, his blessings—everything except the golden fork and spoon.

A year ago Alfredo, outraged by hearing that the men who had bought him out were styling themselves as “King of the Noodles,” forgot all about his abdication vows and went back into business.

29 March 1956, Moravia (Iowa) Union, pg. 4, col. 6:
Last week we had fettuccine al Alfredo, which was described on some program by a chef just oof the plane from Rome—he even brought his own cheese—and then we had cherries jubilee for dessert.

26 June 1957, New York (NY) Times, “Food; Three Restaurants” by June Owen, pg. 48:
Fettuccine Alfredo, originated at the famous Alfredo’s in Rome, is another specialty ($1.65). The flat, noodlelike pasta is served with lots of butter and grated Parmesan cheese.

10 April 1964, Oakland (CA) Tribune, Pg. D35, col. 5 ad:
FETTUCCINE ALFREDO...1.50

(Trademark)
Word Mark THE ORIGINAL FETTUCCINE ALFREDO SINCE 1914
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: Pre-cooked, non-frozen and semi-fresh fettuccine seasoned with sauce; fresh fettuccine; and dried fettuccine
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 02.09.11 - Humans engaged in other work; Humans, including men, women and children, depicted engaged in other work
05.15.02 - Laurel leaves or branches (borders or frames); Wreaths
08.13.01 - Macaroni; Noodles; Pasta; Spaghetti
11.01.25 - Brushes, basting; Chopsticks; Churns, butter (manual); Cups, measuring; Fruit juices, non-electric; Garlic presses (non-electric); Graters, cheese; Holders, kitchen utensil; Ice cube trays; Juicers, non-electric; Ladles (soup); Measuring cups; Napkin holders; Other non-electric kitchen utensils, utensil holders; Pasta makers, non-electric; Potato peelers; Racks, kitchen tool; Scoops, ice cream; Shakers, cocktail; Sharpeners, knife (non-electric)
12.01.07 - Billiard tables; Cabinets, cabins; Coffee tables; Conference tables; Dressing tables; End tables; Folding tables; Game tables; Nightstands; Picnic tables; Table tennis tables; Table, computer; Tables; Tables, pool
24.07.07 - Prize ribbons; Ribbons, prize
Serial Number 75643879
Filing Date February 18, 1999
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition March 21, 2000
Owner (APPLICANT) MOZZETTI, MARIO INDIVIDUAL ITALY Via Conca d’Ore, 329 00141 Rome ITALY
(APPLICANT) ALFREDO ALLA SCROFA S.N.C. Mario Mozzetti, Italian citizen, and Elisabetta Salvatori, a Italian citizen PARTNERSHIP ITALY Via della Scrofa 104 00186 Rome ITALY
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record Anthony P. Venturino
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “THE ORIGINAL FETTUCCINE ALFREDO” and “SINCE 1914” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Description of Mark The mark consists in part of the design of a man seated at a table and twirling pasta. The lining in the drawing is a feature of the mark and does not indicate color.
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date November 21, 2001

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Saturday, February 14, 2009 • Permalink