Alberto Cretara opened Farinella Italian Bakery, Pizzeria and Panini in 2009 in TriBeCa before moving the business up to 1132 Lexington Ave. in 2011. The eatery offers authentic Italian pizza baked in traditional Roman style. Cretara, originally from Naples, Italy, said he moved to the Upper East Side because wanted to be in a family-oriented neighborhood.
What do you admire this area?
It’s very family-oriented and a very cultured and vibrant neighborhood. People say why come to Upper East Side, there’s nothing there — but that’s not true at all, there are many things here. I have many friends that moved from downtown to here, and the people that live here are real New Yorkers; their grandmother, mother and kids live here for generations.
What is something interesting that’s happened?
When you see Paul McCartney stop in front of your store in a car to grab a slice of pizza before going to the plane, that’s a memory that sticks. [Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg] came in one night. Outside the weather was miserable and there was no one on the streets but he came in and said he needed to get a slice of some good pizza.
Are there any other establishments you like to go to?
On 79th Street between Lexington and Third [avenues] is Il Riccio, the Italian food is good there, as well as at Sant Ambroeus on 77th Street and Madison Avenue.
One of my favorite wine stores in all of Manhattan is Vino Veritas on First [Avenue] and 74th Street; they have a great selection and carry wines that are hard to find in other places.