Niagara Gazette

Features

December 17, 2013

GRAND ISLAND: Leone's Cookies offers old fashioned baked goods while RigaTony's serves up traditional Italian meals

Niagara Gazette — The bakery cases at Leone’s Cookies don’t just hold baked goods. They hold family memories.

The recipe for the Italian fig cookies comes from Mary Martinick’s Aunt Lorraine. The recipe for the Italian bread co-owner Anthony Leone makes every day, comes from his Grandma Rose. His thumbprint cookies and Linzer tarts are recipes from his Uncle Joe. It’s like a sweet family reunion.

Almost every item in the case at their new shop on Grand Island Boulevard has a story behind it. And that’s what they feel will make the difference their products and those sold by the area bakery giants.

Their little bake shop opened in October and shares space with the newly opened RigaTony’s Italian Take-out and Catering.

The little Grand Island Boulevard storefront is a place of dreams brought to life as the co-owners Leone and Martinick had been looking for a space to open a bakery when they serendipitously found Anthony Massaro, who was fulfilling a lifelong dream and opening an Italian take-out restaurant and catering business.

Leone and Martinick met when they worked together at Cinta’s Document Shredding on Grand Island. Leone, father of six, and Martinick, mom of three, were drawn together by their love of baking. Leone had given his whole family giant chocolate chip cookies for Christmas and his sister, Natalie, pressed him to open his own shop. Martinick was known for bringing delicious baked goods to work. The pair decided to look for a storefront.

As for Massaro, he sold his landscaping business to open the restaurant side of the cafe. Then he found Leone and Martinick to help with the rent.

The result is a work in process as the three are combining their efforts to make the store a one-stop shop for savory meals and desserts.

Massaro offers a simple takeout menu of Italian staples like lasagna and Parmesans. He also offers traditional sides like beans and greens, and rice balls. With family roots in Niagara Falls, the menu is familiar.  

“It’s my version of everything we had growing up,” he said.

RigaTony’s is only open for dinner Monday through Friday for now, but the bakery will be open every day at 6:30 a.m. and closing weeknights at 7 p.m. with earlier closing time on the weekends.

The place has a handful of tables with black-and-white checked tablecloths, and the window is decorated with plants and statues of two favorite saints, because Martinick said “We prayed to St. Anthony and St. Jude to help us find a place.”

Since the bakery opens so early, Leone’s also offers breakfast sandwiches and coffee.  

Each baker keeps exploring their roots. Recently Martinek, of Dutch and German background, began planning to create some stroopwafels which her family used to make. They are waffle cookies held together by caramel, which can be placed on a cup of coffee so that the steam melts the caramel.

Martinek says that for those who want “true homemade bakery,” Leone’s is “a step back in time.”

During a recent morning of baking, Leone took the time to gather a couple of his family recipes to share.

Uncle Joe’s Linzer tart cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 cups unsifted flour

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups unsifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup or more raspberry preserves

confectionary sugar

Mix butter, sugar, eggs, extract, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix until firm.

Shape in ball and place in fridge until chilled.

Take chilled ball from fridge and cut in half, returning half to the fridge to stay cold, as dough is tough to work with unless it is chilled.

Roll out first half of ball. Using circular cookie cutter, cut into circles and place on cookie sheet.

Reshape leftover dough from the cut-out process into a ball and return to fridge to rechill.

Remove second half of the original ball and repeat, rolling and cutting circles.

Dip a thimble or small round cutter in flour and cut out a small circle in the center of exactly half of the cookies.

Bake cookies for 7 minutes at 350. Cookies with hole will bake faster so watch carefully.

When cookies are cooled, frost solid circles with raspberry preserves. Top with remaining cookies and sift powdered sugar on top of each cookie.

Uncle Joe’s cherry thumbprints

11/2 cup sifted flour

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place ingredients in bowl and blend with mix master or spoon.  

When dough is putty-like remove and cut into 24 pieces.

Roll pieces into balls and place on cookie sheet.

Press a thumb into each cookie and then top thumbprint with half a maraschino cherry.

Leone also makes these cookies with lemon curd, lime curd or chocolate granache.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

 

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Leone’s Cookies and More with Mary

• WHERE: 2488 Grand Island Blvd. at RigaTony’s Italian Take-Out and Catering

• WHEN: Open 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays. RigaTony’s is open 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• MORE INFORMATION: Call Leone’s Cookies at 560-1985. Call RigaTony’s at 773-2328.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • SUN LIFE Opera intern 072714.jpg [Duplicate] Singing her heart out: Newfane woman wins prestigious apprenticeship twice. Rebecca Witty says she started singing in the womb. That might be an exaggeration, but the Newfane woman's love of music began at a very early age. "Music has always been in my life since I was a kid," she said. "My family is made up of musicians so that has played a big part of my love for music since the beginning."

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Chef cooking demos 2 072714.jpg [Duplicate] F-BITES: Celebrity chef Bobby Anderson wants kids to learn more than just cooking. As a loudspeaker played "Waiting for the World to Change," Chef Bobby Anderson was busy changing it, just the other day. For Anderson, the cooking lessons he's conducting with local students this summer on Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls are entertaining crowds and giving young chefs life-changing exposure to new foods, new flavors and new experiences.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE fair story 6 072714.jpg [Duplicate] More than rides and food at the Niagara County Fair

    July 28, 2014 8 Photos

  • mug - stack, catherine RGB [Duplicate] [Duplicate] NATURAL HEALTH: Taking a closer look at migraine causes and treatments

    Headaches come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a mild tension headache to a migraine that has you locked up in a dark room afraid to move. Migraine and cluster headaches are by far the worst. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE tattoo 3 072714.jpg [Duplicate] Behind the tattoo gun — Niagara Tatoo Expo coming up

    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink. 

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • mug - Jennings, Thom RGB [Duplicate] JENNINGS: It's the end of an era for fans of The Ramones

    Jeffrey Hyman, John Cummings, Douglas Colvin and Thomas Erdelyi formed one of the most influential bands in music history in 1974 — better known by their stage names Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone. The last surviving member, Tommy, passed away July 11.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE TOPS woman 2 072714 .jpg [Duplicate] Local woman honored for weight-loss success

    After Carolyn Sherman’s husband passed away, she became depressed, and her weight ballooned to more than 300 pounds. Wheelchair-bound, she ended up at Odd Fellow & Rebekah Health Care Facility in Lockport.

     

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • NIA Biz logo 072814 IN BUSINESS: ReNU director named to '30 Under 30' list Tom Lowe, director of ReNU Niagara, has been named to the 2014 class of Buffalo Business First's 30 Under 30 honorees. The award recognizes 30 Western New Yorkers in the early stages of their careers who are achieving at high levels at work and in the community.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUNLIFELexisPlace1072014jpg (1).jpg Lexi's Place: A safe haven for teens battling suicide, sexual abuse and depression

    In a perfect world, a 14-year-old wouldn’t know exactly how it feels to try suicide.
    An 11-year-old who reaches out to the unwanted kids at school would not be thrown against a locker and bullied by other teens trying to make her feel small.
    And surely no teen would have a father who, when she was small, would give her to his friends for sex.
    All those things happened to the teens at Lexi’s Place.

    July 22, 2014 8 Photos

  • SUN LIFE wine fest 3 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Sip the Niagara Wine Trail's best in one location The Niagara Wine Trail reveals it's sweetness slowly, and only to those dedicated enough to spend the time. There are 27 wineries and to sample a taste of each requires much driving through the backroads of the Niagara region, and far too much sipping to make driving a logical possibility. That's what makes the trail's 6th annual Wine and Culinary event such a good idea. Wine lovers who've always wanted to explore the new and unusual offerings of the 14-year-old wine trail, can do so next weekend, all in one place.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page