How Did Vito Genovese's Painting Wind Up in a New Jersey Trattoria?

"Do you see the devil in the tree picking his nails with his mouth trying to figure out which one he wants a rape?"
This painting once graced the home of Vito Genovese.

Since last night we've heard from additional folks about Trama's Trattoria, the New Jersey restaurant where the painting once owned by Vito Genovese hangs.

Not all knew about the painting, but they certainly remember the food. "The Garganelli pasta is out of this world. Don Vito would certainly have approved," said one. (They prefer I identify them as "friends." You can figure out the rest. The fact is, they are friends.)

 The painting, of a group of fair maidens being spied on by a demon or something, once apparently hung in Genovese's mansion in the Atlantic Highlands. And I'm hoping someone reading this can shed more light on that painting.

It now hangs on the wall of the Long Branch, New Jersey, restaurant Trama’s Trattoria.

A Google search didn't turn up anything about the painting. Does anyone out there know anything? Some friends and myself are very curious. If anyone can shed any light, please comment or email me.

Vito Genovese helped built the mob's bloody 20th century reputation. He was a murderer who didn't hesitate to kill even witnesses under police protection. Genovese was the guiding force behind the Frank Costello and Albert Anastasia shootings, causing the ill-fated 1957 Apalachin meeting and creating legendary turncoat Joe Valachi after giving him the so-called kiss of death. When Valachi thought he saw mob assassin Joe Beck coming to kill him in the prison yard, he struck first, brutally murdering another inmate (that was a helluva case of mistaken identification!) The Fed's had him thereafter.

A reader was eating in the restaurant last night and spoke with chef Pat Trama about the painting, among other things. Pat explained how he first heard about the painting, then was given the actual painting, by way of a local handyman.

Someone took a photograph of the painting and texted us -- and now we share it with you....

While looking at the restaurant's website, we happened to notice that the bottom part of the Vito Genovese painting is plainly visible in one of the many online pictures.

See the painting? From Trama's website

Chef Trama has a strong following with food and wine aficionados due to his fierce commitment to quality, consistency and attention to detail. Chef Trama is a native New Yorker. From his earliest days helping out at his parent’s eatery and cooking with his grandparents, he has always had a passion for food and cooking. 

He began his professional culinary career behind the line at the River Café in Brooklyn under the tutelage of Charlie Palmer, the James Beard award-winning chef. River Café known for launching many world-class chefs has been referred to as the “Harvard Business School of Culinary Arts” by the New York Times. Chef Trama went on to work with the renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent, founder of the Myriad Restaurant Group, which includes Nobu, Della Femina, Batard and Tribeca Grill. 

He found his love and respect for Tuscan culture and cuisine while working with restaurateur Pino Luongo and making several visits to the Italian region. Chef Trama worked as the sous chef at Luonogo’s Le Madre and Coco Pazzo in New York before becoming executive chef at Coco Pazzo in Chicago. Chef Trama then served as the executive chef at celebrity chef-owned David Burke and Donatella before becoming executive chef at David Burke Fromagerie in Rumson, New Jersey.

Trama’s travels and experience inspired him to open his own restaurant with his wife and general manager Laura Trama that featured authentic Tuscan cuisine, Ama Ristorante Tuscana in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. After tremendous growth, the Tramas relocated Ama to Sea Bright. Ama remains there; the Tramas both moved on to pursue other opportunities. 

 Chef Pat is excited to be bringing his new venture to the West End in Long Branch, New Jersey, “I was anxious to get back in the kitchen with an intimate comfortable restaurant but wanted to wait for the right space.” The right space recently became available and he jumped at the opportunity.

Yeah, it's my painting, so fcking what? You gotta problem with that?

If you are ever in the area and are looking for some great Italian food and an interesting painting to gaze at while you sip your wine, check it out: 

Trama’s Trattoria at115 Brighton Avenue in Long Branch, New Jersey (phone number 732-222-1121).

Call up for a reservation and tell em Ed from Cosa Nostra News sent you.

Take a picture of the painting and email it to us at cosanostranews at gmail dot com. Maybe we'll hold a raffle or something.

Maybe we can find some kind a piece of Mafia history to raffle off......

Whatcha think?