Food

Mama's Boy

As New York sandwich shop Regina’s Grocery debuts its third location, Family Style speaks with founder Roman Grandinetti about the delicate politics of naming menu items after family members—and mayonnaise.

November 5, 2023
Regina's Grocery
Photography by Sasha Frumin. Image courtesy of Regina's Grocery.

Roman Grandinetti opened the first Regina’s Grocery off of what’s now known as Dimes Square in New York City’s Lower East Side in 2017. The Brooklyn native had previously ran a branding agency, but unlike those client-driven endeavors, his old-school, Italian deli-style eatery has become a true personal project, expanding to three across the city with familiar care. Amongst the plethora of childhood memorabilia that dot each sandwich counters’ walls, the mission celebrates the owner’s lifelong heroes, including Michael Jordan and his own mom, whom Regina’s Grocery is named after.

Rachel Summer Small: Tell me about the origins of Regina’s Grocery.

Roman Grandinetti: I started it five-and-a-half years ago. I'm from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. I grew up going to delis, where I got sandwiches and meat from my butcher. He looked like Jack Nicholson, and was always smoking cigarettes. Thinking about it now, it probably wasn't the best thing in the world. He’d make me a sandwich without ever taking the cigarette out of his mouth. I would get chopped meat or chicken cutlets for my mom, and then dart home. Going to high school in the city opened up my eyes to all these little Italian specialty shops that offered things like meat and cheese. There was a mozzarella shop, Joe's Dairy on Sullivan Street, that I really fell in love with in particular. It was in the movie The Pope of Greenwich Village. As I got older, I started a fashion and music marketing agency. Eventually I realized, Hey, if I do this stuff for brands, maybe I could do it for myself. I found our first location at 27 Orchard Street. I designed, built, and laid every piece of tile. Then I put up every piece of wood. It was my whole childhood wrapped in one.

Regina's Grocery
Image courtesy of Regina's Grocery.

RSS: The whole business is named after your mom, Regina?

RG: My mother is definitely the heart and soul of Regina’s—she is Regina. She's the mom of a neighborhood. Growing up, she protected me and all of my friends from the worst things in the world, and pushed us toward the best things. People ask me, “How does it feel to work with your mother?” I tell them she's one of my friends. I actually call my mom Regina, which she always thought was hilarious. She was obviously my mom, but she's always been my friend, too. I've always been able to go to her and be like, “Hey, I did something really, really stupid, and I'm probably gonna get in a lot of trouble.” She’d be like, “Okay, sit down and shut up. We're gonna figure it out.” When my friends caught wind, they started to do the same. She's been all of our moms.

RSS: As you expanded from the Lower East Side to Little Italy and now the Upper East Side what do you keep across all the locations?

RG: Every store has an original box of Wheaties cereal with Michael Jordan on the front of it. I'm a huge Jordan fan, so they all have vintage Jordans. The original Jordans are actually in the first location. I grew up boxing, so each place has boxing gloves, too. I have a dying love for Rocky.  Each location also has its own little nuances. Back in the day, my grandfather ran different social clubs that all had 360-degree wood paneling. Those inspired the interior wood-paneling in every Regina’s. Our ceilings come from Joe's Dairy—flat white and with high-gloss black molding. Design-wise, [the combination] truly doesn’t make sense, but it’s something that I’ve held on to since. I’ve rebuilt every ceiling we find, so that every Regina’s has it. Our tile floor being black and white also ties into how my mother and father only wear black. He’s an artist and when she was younger she was a makeup artist. They were huge disco heads, and spent a lot of time at Studio 54. A lot of these other Italian delis are bright red and green, but we are black and gold because that's who we are. There's no rulebook, it’s just us.

Image courtesy of Regina’s Grocery.

RSS: And your sandwiches are named after members of your family?

RG: They are named all real people, and they're built after all of their characteristics. My uncle John was larger than life. He had everything in the world, and was very polished, like a real-life modern Martin Scorsese character. Then there’s my uncle Jimmy, who was equally as big and powerful. He had insane tattoos, and was known to be a firecracker. Both of their sandwiches are classic Italians, but because Uncle Jimmy was spicy, we added Calabrian chili to his. Then there is my grandma Lucy who hated cooking. She'd make tuna fish, but would break the rules by putting cheese on it. There was never any mayo in her house—it had too many calories—but she liked tuna, so it was an easy fix. She bleached her hair, and was almost six feet tall. She looked like a movie star, so we gave her one of the best of the Italian breads, stirato. It's comparable to a French baguette with a little bit of a sourdough flare. My uncle Phil was a super, classic, basic, Italian dude. So his is prosciutto and mozzarella. His son is a simple ham and cheese sandwich, because growing up he literally didn't eat anything besides pizza, bagels, plain pasta, and ham and cheese. My father was vegetarian for like three months, so we made fun of him by giving him a vegetarian sandwich [the Ricky]. My mom doesn't have a sandwich, we gave her the store.

RSS: And what about the Roman, which is made with smoked chicken and mozzarella?

RG: I loved chicken cutlets when I was a kid, and I still do. I found this crazy cold cut from a really cool organic farm in Connecticut that I fell in love with immediately. So I took a really simple thing, and added everything that I could to it that felt right.

Design

Superhouse Gets Supersized with New Location

February 15, 2024 7:00 PM

The art-design gallery just moved to a new location half a mile away and over seven times the size of its original Chinatown, New York mall flagship.

by 
Meka Boyle
Design

Step Into My Office

February 11, 2024 7:00 PM

Pink Essay asked 26 artists to visually transform ordinary office objects for the design studio’s latest exhibition in Mexico City. The results were out of this world.

by 
Elina Boeva
Design

Tied Up

February 8, 2024 7:00 PM

A collaboration between London design firm Campbell-Rey and Swedish design firm Nordic Knots takes twists and turns in its inspirations for three new colorful and minimalist rugs.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Design

Nashville 9 to 5

January 31, 2024 7:00 PM

In Nashville, Tennessee's vibrant Wedgewood Houston neighborhood, The Malin's just-opened work-focused club invites members to re-envision productivity at its fourth and largest space yet.

by 
Anyu Ching
Design

Designing Alpine

January 20, 2024 7:00 PM

In Paris, a design group draws on the history and spectacle of the ski chalet.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Culture

Lost and Found in Babylone

February 23, 2024 2:40 PM

In Paris, Saint Laurent’s new boutique bookstore captures the spirit of the label’s past with a curated collection of art, books, and cultural artifacts.

by 
Family Style
Culture

Between Old and New

February 14, 2024 7:00 PM

Swedish label Bite celebrated their Nordstrom partnership with a lavish dinner at Eleven Madison Park.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Culture

Lypsinka Lets Loose

February 8, 2024 7:00 PM

In Chloë Sevigny’s new short film, Lypsinka: Toxic Femininity, the iconic stage creation of John Epperson is left alone with her many selves.

by 
Elina Boeva
Culture

The Lost Artists Lunches of a Genre-Defining Print Studio

October 27, 2023 8:00 PM

Through Universal Limited Art Editions, Tatyana "Tanya" Grosman influenced and collaborated with some of the most important artists of the last 60 years. She also cooked for them, too.

by 
Joshua Glass
Culture

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: Shock and Sensation

October 7, 2023 8:00 PM

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge was the sort of underground luminary that embraced subcultures in such a dynamic way that s/he became one in h/er own right. H/er charisma shone through decades and wide-ranging creative endeavors, much of which are now on view at Prague's DOX Center for Contemporary Art three years since h/er passing.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Seating Chart

Revisiting Marc Jacob's Campy, Christmas Parties

January 22, 2024 7:00 PM

The fashion designer's parties are still iconic despite the last official shindig happening 15 years ago.

by 
Getty Images Fan Club
Seating Chart

Pill Popper

November 27, 2023 7:00 PM

Remembering the short-lived art-restaurant by Damien Hirst that was anything but clinical.

by 
Getty Images Fan Club
Seating Chart

What did Jay-Z say to Nicole Kidman?

October 3, 2023 8:00 PM

A look at one particular table from Vanity Fair's 2005 dinner for the Tribeca Film Festival.

by 
Getty Images Fan Club
Art

Hinting at Humans

February 22, 2024 12:32 PM

Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm evokes the everyday with his own surreal spin, where clothes take on a life of their own. “Surrogates,” the artist’s latest exhibition at Thaddaeus Ropac in London, makes visitors look twice.

by 
Anyu Ching
Art

All Roads Lead to Home

February 20, 2024 3:49 PM

Clifford Prince King captures home wherever he goes—his new public art series brings his tender portraits to 330 bus shelters and newsstands across three cities.

by 
Anyu Ching
Art

Painting Black

February 19, 2024 2:30 PM

Twenty-two artists from across the African diaspora reframe the Black figure in a landmark exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery that reckons with what has been seen, and what has not.

by 
Anyu Ching
Art

Edward Enninful’s Ode to Mapplethorpe

February 17, 2024 12:00 PM

Robert Mapplethorpe inspired an entire generation of creatives to capture beauty beyond its narrow standard—now on the 35-year anniversary of his death, Edward Enninful pays homage to his legacy.

by 
Elina Boeva
Art

Frieze’s Love Letter to LA

February 16, 2024 3:00 PM

This Spring, the art fair blends more than 95 galleries from around the world with homages to the city’s past and present.

by 
Elina Boeva
Art

Maria Lassnig, At Last

February 15, 2024 9:00 AM

Premiering at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Anja Salomonowitz’s upcoming biopic of the late Austrian painter cements her legacy as a trailblazer.

by 
Anyu Ching
Art

Bienvenido a Mexico

February 12, 2024 9:00 PM

Anonymous Gallery opens a new space in Mexico City with an inaugural exhibition highlighting the works of three generations of Mexican artists.

by 
Anyu Ching
Art

Milan Meets Lehmann Maupin

February 10, 2024 9:00 AM

Spearheaded by Jessica Kreps, Lehmann Maupin’s new space is a vibrant addition to the Italian capital's contemporary art scene.

by 
Anyu Ching
Art

Art Fuels Life

February 9, 2024 9:00 AM

Mashonda Tifrere has made a powerful impact on the art world through supporting her community in dynamic and creative ways. Now, the Pérez Art Museum Miami is honoring the influential curator and activist for her work uplifting women, people of color, and marginalized voices.

by 
K.O. Nnamdie
Art

Julian Charrière's Black Mirrors

February 7, 2024 8:00 AM

From the tar pits of California, the French-Swiss artist has used organic material to develop imagery on large scale, stainless-steel plates through heliography, one of photography’s oldest techniques.

by 
Ann Binlot
Art

The 71 Artists in this Year’s Whitney Biennale

February 3, 2024 9:37 PM

Opening on March 20, 2024, “Even Better Than the Real Thing,” showcases the most relevant works and ideas of our time in the longest-running survey of American art ever.

by 
Anyu Ching
Art

A Room of Her Own

February 3, 2024 9:24 PM

Look closer into Oda Jaune’s paintings and you will find realistic renderings of nipples and eyes, zoom out and the forms they are affixed to might surprise.

by 
Meka Boyle
Art

Joan Snyder Still Blooms

February 3, 2024 9:23 PM

The archetypal artist's relationship with colors is so synergetic it’s as if she can hear the reds, greens, and browns of the flowers that bloom in her Brooklyn garden.

by 
Meka Boyle
Art

Flashes of Memory

February 3, 2024 8:47 PM

Theaster Gates debuts an array of sculpture and installation works in New York that conjure memories of his childhood while resurfacing historical Black ephemera of cultural and economic significance.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Art

Higher Power

February 2, 2024 9:40 PM

David LaChapelle’s new Miami show synthesizes the internationally celebrated photographer’s decades-long interests, putting forth a transcendent vision combining queerness, art history, and religious iconography.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Art

The 2024 Venice Biennale Embraces the Voiceless

February 2, 2024 6:00 PM

“Foreigners Everywhere" will host 331 artists and collectives with a focus on Indigenous artists and the Global South in the largest and most inclusive iteration yet.

by 
Elina Boeva
Art

Her Body is a Castle

February 2, 2024 3:49 PM

Jasmine Wahi prompted contemporary artists to explore the charged language around queer, trans, and femme bodily autonomy. Then she built a vampire lair.

by 
Meka Boyle
Art

The Poetics of Mark-Making

February 1, 2024 9:41 PM

Cement, a window frame, plywood, metal chains, calabash gourds, a mirror, and a football are exalted within the context of the Hammer Museum by Vamba Bility.

by 
Meka Boyle
Art

Art that Eats

January 31, 2024 1:20 AM

A new Palo Alto, CA exhibition interweaves food and art in a 24-artist group show.

by 
Anyu Ching
Art

Paint the Town Read

January 27, 2024 9:20 PM

Paula Cooper Gallery brings together nearly 50 works created by 31 artists between the 1970s and 2023, all of which all draw upon the material object of literature.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Art

Maia Ruth Lee's Vast Space

January 19, 2024 9:47 PM

In the last two decades, the artist has developed a visual language that seems to shape shift every time it is pinned down, while still maintaining a fixed center.

by 
Meka Boyle
Art

Christmas in the Dark

December 21, 2023 5:49 PM

Tony Hope's holiday exhibition is less sleigh bells and more slay-your-opponents.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Art

Eye to Eye

December 9, 2023 8:00 AM

Sasha Gordon showcases a new collection of eight paintings reflecting her debut and multifaceted self.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Art

Xiyao Wang Dreams in Charcoal

November 30, 2021 9:15 PM

The China-born, Berlin-based artist is in a constant state of flux; as her career continues to reach new heights, her style is also ascending. Now she's crossing a new horizon with her first debut show in the United States.

by 
Meka Boyle
Art

Gutting Geographies

Opening Jack Shainman’s new TriBeCa, New York gallery, lauded Irish photographer Richard Mosse tackles the dual prodigious subjects of the Amazon rainforest and climate change in a stunning, cinematic form.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Slow Burn

Vera Tamari’s Art of Resourcefulness

February 12, 2024 7:00 PM

Since the 1960s, the Palestinian artist has made art that is personal and inevitably political.

by 
Rose Courteau
Slow Burn

The Afterparty

November 14, 2023 7:00 PM

Trailblazing artist Judy Chicago opens up about her New Museum retrospective and her 60-year-career built on taking up space.

by 
Rose Courteau
Taste Matters

A Love Letter to Us All

February 13, 2024 8:02 PM

This year I choose as much love as possible for Valentine’s Day. And Sugar.

by 
Samantha Ronson
Taste Matters

Samantha Ronson Turns the Table

October 16, 2023 8:00 AM

After a life of cocktails and take-out, the DJ-musician has found a new relationship with food. And it’s f*cking delicious, as she writes in her new column for Family Style.

by 
Samantha Ronson
Fashion

Window Shopping

February 21, 2024 1:30 PM

Gucci’s new SoHo outpost is more than just a beautiful boutique. The over 10,000-square-foot-space doubles as an art gallery with works by Alghiero Boetti and Sasha Stiles in a program curated by Truls Blaasmo.

by 
Ann Binlot
Fashion

Reserved Seating

February 19, 2024 9:00 AM

Style.com was ahead of its time, bringing some closer to the runway—and others to one another—more than ever before. For Family Style's debut print issue, several editors from the legendary digital platform reunited for brunch at Paris’ gilded Cheval Blanc to reminisce about their glory days of street style, cutthroat story turnarounds, and changing the world.

by 
Bridget Foley
Fashion

Fringe Fashion

February 9, 2024 9:00 PM

“The New Village: Ten Years of New York Fashion'' at Pratt Manhattan Gallery makes the case that the city’s D.I.Y. sensibilities still pack a punch in a sartorial group show that fuses art and design.

by 
Meka Boyle
Fashion

The 24 Seasons of Yukio Akamine

February 7, 2024 3:30 PM

The seventy-nine-year-old Japanese menswear icon’s closet is influenced by the changing landscape.

by 
Anyu Ching
Fashion

House of Love

February 5, 2024 1:00 PM

Amongst the treasures of Love House's new NYC design gallery, Family Style found beauty, inspiration, and even obsession for Valentine's Day. Can you blame us?

by 
Family Style
Fashion

Squid Ink-ed

January 20, 2024 9:33 AM

Why are so many culinary creatives covered in tattoos? Family Style met with six beautiful New Yorkers making beautiful food and beverages and stripped them down to find out more.

by 
Joshua Glass
Fashion

Dinner with the Dos

December 15, 2023 5:37 PM

Peter Do and Trisha Do grew up near each other in Vietnam, but the pair didn’t become friends until meeting each other across the world, where they bonded over their shared experiences and cooking as an expression of love.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Fashion

Holiday Tasting

December 12, 2023 9:56 AM

After a year’s-worth of wants, wonts, and will-I-evers, it’s finally time for the main event of the season: gifts. Take Family Style's inaugural holiday tasting menu, which spans fashion, accessories, and trophies for the home, less as an ordained prescription and more of a cherished collection of desires; many of which will surely bring a smile to a loved one’s face as well as your own, of course.

by 
Family Style
No items found.
Food

Vitali Gelwich’s Hearty Borscht

February 24, 2024 9:00 AM

The photographer shares his mother’s recipe for this classic Eastern European dish.

by 
Family Style
Food

Show Me the Greens

February 19, 2024 7:00 AM

Antonio D’Angelo oversees all of Giorgio Armani’s culinary empire, including Nobu Milano. When Covid-19 put a halt to importing produce from Asia, the executive chef decided to take matters into his own hands, opening his own wasabi farm in Northern Italy of all places.

by 
Gilda Bruno
Food

Paris Hit List

February 18, 2024 7:00 PM

Three off-the-beaten-Champs-Élysées dinners you must have on any occasion in the City of Lights.

by 
Ella Quittner
Food

Venetia Scott’s Hometown Hake

February 17, 2024 7:00 PM

The dual photographer and fashion stylist misses her friends (and their food).

by 
Family Style
Food

The Life of Pavlova

February 16, 2024 7:00 PM

A citrus-y pavlova to turn any somber winter day into a warm dance party.

by 
Mon Petit Canard
Food

Home Cooking

February 14, 2024 7:00 PM

In the heart of Portland, Oregon, where the culinary scene is as eclectic as the city itself, Gregory Gourdet interweaves centuries of history with his own memories. For Family Style No. 1, the James Beard Award-winning chef has imagined a unique three-course menu that is as powerful as it is personal.

by 
Sophia Roe
Food

Macrodosing Shrooms at Demo

February 14, 2024 7:00 PM

Don’t Miss the Arroz a la Plancha, the banana pudding, or anything Jacob Nass wants to pour you at this new West Village, New York hotspot.

by 
Ella Quittner
Food

Liz Johnson Artur’s Beetroot Salad Has Deeper Meanings

February 12, 2024 7:00 PM

The Russian-Ghanaian artist has been enjoying this dish for more than three decades.

by 
Family Style
Food

Sarah Blais’ Taste of Home

February 11, 2024 7:00 PM

The documentary, portrait, and fashion photographer shares her mother’s recipe for blueberry coffee cake.

by 
Family Style
Food

Gus Van Sant’s Sweet and Savory Spaghetti

February 9, 2024 7:00 PM

The Palme d'Or award-winning director and painter shares his own pasta take on sausage and pineapple.

by 
Family Style
Food

Martin Parr’s No-Nonsense Fried Fish

February 7, 2024 7:00 PM

The renowned British photographer shares his favorite dish. Much like his vivid artwork, it’s pure and simple.

by 
Family Style
Food

An Elegy for Commerce, an Ode to the Commerce Inn

February 4, 2024 7:00 PM

To drop into New York's The Commerce Inn mid-dog walk and sip a tavern coffee with whisky and maple in one of the wooden booths on the bar-side of the quirky restaurant on a Sunday morning is the best version of stopping by a neighbor’s just to say hi.

by 
Ella Quittner
Food

So Long, Sad Veggies

December 8, 2023 7:00 PM

The once-overlooked crudité has undergone a gourmet transformation, gracing upscale menus with vibrant displays of seasonal vegetables and artisanal dips.

by 
Kyle Beechey
Food

Music, Mussels, and More with Mon Petit

December 1, 2023 7:00 PM

The beautiful thing about Rowan Spencer and Emma Leigh Macdonald's seafood flatbread is that their favorite part about eating steamed mussels—dipping bread into the salty shellfish broth—happens no matter how you enjoy it. In their inaugural Family Style series, the creative pair known as Mon Petit Canard share an original recipe for the Feast of the Seven Fishes—along with some delectable musical pairings.

by 
Mon Petit Canard
Food

What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?

November 25, 2023 7:00 PM

From politics and post-traumatic stress to cinnamon-y pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving—the annual-slash only American day dedicated to gratitude—means a lot of things to a lot of people. It also means nothing to many others. Post passing the turkey, Family Style asked 20 or so creatives from all around the world what the pre-Black Friday feast signifies for them personally, and how each celebrated this year if they did so at all.

by 
Family Style
Food

Mama's Boy

November 5, 2023 7:00 PM

As New York sandwich shop Regina’s Grocery debuts its third location, Family Style speaks with founder Roman Grandinetti about the delicate politics of naming menu items after family members—and mayonnaise.

by 
Rachel Summer Small
Food

That’s Hot... and Good, too?

October 31, 2023 8:00 PM

Trendy restaurants often exist in an echo chamber of celebrity and social clout, but a new crop of good-looking eateries around the globe are inviting us to enjoy our comfort food and look cool, too.

by 
Kyle Beechey
Food

The Indian Supper Club in Downtown New York Where Culture and Kulfi Collide

October 20, 2023 8:00 PM

The Salon is a monthly supper club put on by New York–based artists Ananya Chopra and Kritika Manchanda, who channel their childhoods to put out impeccably composed regional northern Indian food.

by 
Ella Quittner
Food

Daniel Humm Eats with the Four Seasons, and Paints Them, Too

September 30, 2023 8:00 PM

Eleven Madison Park owner and three Michelin star-rated chef Daniel Humm reveals four new paintings from his new book, "Eat More Plans."

by 
Family Style
Food

Harmony at Armani with Antonio D’Angelo and Albert Adrià

September 30, 2023 8:00 PM

Multi Michelin-starred Albert Adrià entered Armani/Ristorante executive chef Antonio D’Angelo's New York kitchen for a magnificent "four hands” meal.

by 
Joshua Glass
Food

The 20-Seater Oyster Bar in East LA That is So Hot it's Not... So Go

September 29, 2023 8:00 PM

This Eagle Rock, LA oyster bar is the best restaurant Patrik Sandberg has been to recently. It has a parking lot (unheard of!), which is reason enough to go, but for seafood fiends such as Sandberg, it is truly a forensic marvel worth returning to, much like a serial killer does to the scene of their crimes.

by 
Patrik Sandberg
Food

Time to Get Figgy with It

If you don’t eat a ripe, juicy fig this month, you’ll regret it until 2024.

by 
Ella Quittner
Just Desserts

Finally We Meat

January 8, 2024 7:00 PM

For the last four years, I've gone to sleep with and woken up beside Sophia Loren. More specifically: a life-sized poster of the actress and a giant sausage from the film La Mortadella hangs across her bed. The only thing crazier than the plot of the absurdist 1971 movie is the fact that I've never seen it—until now.

by 
Emilia Petrarca
Just Desserts

An Ode to Enya

November 6, 2023 7:00 PM

Is she sleepy or slept on? A deep-dive into the work of the New Age singer-composer reveals a better understanding of her impact—and my dad’s taste?

by 
Emilia Petrarca
Just Desserts

Call Me Mother

October 10, 2023 8:00 PM

American textile designer Dorothy Liebes was one of the most influential textile designers of her time, so why don't more people know her name?

by 
Emilia Petrarca
Family Style

Active Listening

February 12, 2024 10:23 AM

British fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner has unveiled her first major curatorial endeavor: “Spirit Movers" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

by 
Ann Binlot
Family Style

Editor's Letter

February 11, 2024 10:00 AM

The theme of Family Style's inaugural print issue is No Place Like Home. Here's why.

by 
Joshua Glass