1. Large Ice Cube Trays Great for cocktails, cold brew coffee, water, or even in your punch bowl. Even if you have an ice maker, having a few of these trays is a great idea.
2. Bialetti The best coffee maker in my opinion. I grew up watching my dad make his moka pot every morning and got my first Bialetti when I got my first apartment in college.
3. Revere Collar Shirt Nothing says summer like a relaxed collar! These shirts are a classic 50s/60s style that have made a comeback and I’m all over that. I wear a shirt and tie to work every day, so I prefer a more casual look when I’m not there.
4. Samba OG Sneakers Everyone has their go-to sneaker, right? I’ve owned quite a few pairs of Sambas over the years and I’ve got 4 in my rotation now (I have way too many sneakers), but white is definitely my favorite for the summer.
5. Bocce Ball Set Summer is about leisure and leisure sports. I define that as anything you can do with a drink in your hand. Bocce, frisbee, horseshoes, shuffleboard, I’m up for a game. My family and I play bocce on the beach all summer long.
Q & A with Guido
What is a ‘typical’ day at Palizzi Social Club like? A typical day at Palizzi for me starts around 2 pm. I get into the restaurant and start prepping for the evening. We are open Thursday-Sunday and each day has a different checklist but overall we really just do the same thing every day.
We are first come first served so we start to see a line of members form around 5 pm (we open at 6 pm). We’re a small place with a small staff so as the general manager I often bartend or wait some tables, while keeping an eye on everything going on.
The club is just a row home in South Philadelphia. We have about 35 seats and once 6:00 pm hits, we turn on the neon light and fill the room. Once we are full we start a waitlist and call the members back as the tables open up. After 3 years of the same routine I can look at the room and pretty much figure out where people are in their meal and when we can expect to flip the table.
On Thursday there is live music, and that gets the place going right away. Overall, it is a cozy space that (lucky for us) people love to visit often. We are open until 3am on Friday and Saturday with food until 1am all 4 nights. So we tend to get a late night hit and it can be a wild shift in customers. Our early crowd trends older, late night crowd trends younger/industry, and both sets love the place equally. That is one of my favorite things about Palizzi.
How has the restaurant adapted in The New Normal? We have transitioned to takeout to our members. Just Friday and Saturday, with one offering we call the “Palizzi Package.” It is 3 items from the menu, dessert, and a complimentary negroni. We aren’t a takeout place, but we wanted to offer it to our members.
It is a big shift for us but it has been going well. It feels a little sad being in the club and it is empty, and we pack the boxes as we’re passing the package out the window with masks and gloves. What I think makes us special is the people who work at Palizzi really love to be there. It can sound cliche but it is a fantastic place to be every day with a chef/owner who loves what he does and it all trickles down.
Tell me more about your new cocktail book. One of my best friends, Michael Buonocore, and I always bounce drink ideas off each other. He’s actually the one who got me in at Palizzi and has helped me tremendously understanding cocktail creation from front to back.
My wife Addie and I began to settle into a routine and we started having a “happy hour” everyday at 6-6:30 (when she finished work and the baby was eating dinner). So I started making some syrups for our drinks, infusing some spirits, etc. I’ve got quite a home bar (50-60 unique bottles) so I put them to use. Michael would FaceTime in a few times a week, I put some drinks on Instagram, and people asked for recipes, etc.
Michael and I always said we would write a cocktail book. We are both constantly reading them, looking for new ideas, recipes, or history. We decided to set out on our own booklet, what we’re calling a Covid Cocktail guide. We’ve got sections on classics, original cocktails from both of us, drinks we love to share, mocktails, syrups, and even got a few food and drink recipes from chefs and bartenders we’ve worked with in the past.
We started it as something to keep us busy but it’s been a fun exercise (and slightly overwhelming at times). But we have been digging in a few days a week and are really excited to share it. The plan is to release a PDF that is easy to understand and can help people elevate their home drinking. Of course we want you to go back to bars and restaurants when they open, but knowing how to fix a proper cocktail is always a valuable skill.