A big drag for me to move to New York from Boston, other than my job of course, was the endless trove of mouth-watering pizza this city has to offer. I’ve been living here for over a year now and have eaten at a hundred different places around the city. I can say that hands down, unequivocally, L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn is the best pie I’ve had in all the five boroughs. I’d have sex with their Sicilian pizza if it came onto me.
Well, it has recently come to light that the pizza was so damn good, that it caused a casuality.
Louis Barbati, the 61-year-old co-owner of the iconic pizza joint, was shot to death in a targeted hit outside his Brooklyn home Thursday night, reports the New York Post. Louis is pictured below with his family.
The assassin, described as a white man in his 30s wearing a black hoodie, approached Barbati, who was returning from the Bensonhurst pizzeria, which was once at the center of a Mafia extortion plot over a stolen sauce recipe.
Barbati’s son-in-law Frank Guerra, a Colombo mafia family associate in New York, was accused of extorting the owner of a rival pizzeria in 2009 after they allegedly stole L&B’s renowned pizza sauce recipe. He was acquitted of the charges in 2012.
According to Daily Mail,
Guerra had accused Eugene Lombardo, a Bonanno crime family associate, whose sons worked at L&B, of taking their method and using it at his new restaurant, The Square, in Staten Island.
Anthony Russo, a former Colombo mafia boss, told a court in 2012 that Guerra had flipped when he found out about the theft.
‘It’s a famous pizzeria. Their pizza, their Spumoni, their ices,’ he said in court.
Russo said he went to Staten Island to confront Lombardo over the copying of the recipe.
When he arrived there with Guerra and Frank Iannaci they saw a sign that advertised their products as ‘L&B style pizza.’
‘Gene [Lombardo] came out and [Guerra] started yelling at him,’ Russo told the court. ‘He told him he’s a “piece of s***, a s***bag, robbed my family, I’ll break your head”,’ Russo said.
The Colombo’s allegedly demanded a share in the restaurant or $75,000 payment for stealing the recipe. Lombardo agreed to pay a measly $4,000.
The assassin is still on the run.
[h/t NY Post]