March 15, 2012 at 9:22 AM ET
Anyone who watches VH1’s hit reality series "Mob Wives" knows that the larger-than-life Big Ang, a.k.a. Angela Raiola, is the breakout star of the show and has a soft spot for handsome mafia men.
“I like [going out with] the wise guys because they know how to treat women. They bought me nice houses, gorgeous furs, diamonds…,” Big Ang has said on the show.
The mutual attraction isn't just material or physical. When she's not hanging with the "Mob Wives" or running her Staten Island bar The Drunken Monkey, Ang cooks Italian American feasts for 10 to 15 people every Sunday.
“Good food is the way to a wise guy’s heart,” she tells F&W. “That’s for sure. I’m the best cook and they love anything I cook.”
How to woo a wise guy
Appetizers: “I make a seafood salad delicious with octopus, scungilli, calamari, shrimps, lobster, crabmeat—I mix it with lemon, garlic, olive oil, parsley and red pepper. I’m very good with the fish dishes. Then I make a nice shrimp cocktail, fried calamari with jalapeño peppers.”
Main course: “They’ll say ‘Make me fried veal cutlets,’ or ‘Make me chicken cutlets or ‘Make me a nice steak,’ whateva. Wise guys usually like stuff like pork chops pizzaiola, macaroni, linguine and clams, shrimp oreganata, lobster and pork chops with hot peppers. They like a lot of hot things. Like me.”
Drinks: “Only wine. If I’m having meat, I put red wine. If I’m having fish, I put white. I love Jordan red wine and I love La Scola Gavi de Gavi Black Label.”
So how does Big Ang set the mood for a romantic evening with a wise guy?
“I set the table, I put the wine in the carafe and that’s your table setting. All my lights are on a dimmer so the light is low. If I’m really into it, I light some candles—that’s about it.”
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