It's a gray, chilly morning in the Belmont section of the Bronx, and two things are crossing my mind. First, hardly anyone's on the street, and second, they all might be inside Artuso Pastry. The line's packed with locals eager for their first sip of coffee and they keep streaming through the door.
Inside frantic staffers rush about with trays, speaking Italian-inflected New Yorkese and gesturing wildly. For a moment, I feel as if I've walked onto the set of a Scorcese film, but the all-white interior and arched windows facing the street push away any such notions.
Anthony Jr. Artuso and his brother-in-law Donny Mangano spot me standing around, then make a big show of welcoming me. Before I've even set down my purse, Uncle Joey appears from the kitchen with a large plate of handmade pastries baked from old family recipes. There is Rum Baba with vanilla custard, linzer tart, and more Italian cookies than I can count. Each one looks like a work of art and I have to restrain myself.
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