New York State of Mind

Its 2001 closing was a mourning of sorts that brought long lines to 2173 E. Ninth St. for one last meal.

Since 1927, Clevelanders had flocked to the New York Spaghetti House (which was not a chain of any sort, nor was it founded in New York) for its trademark brown sauce. Invented in 1927 by restaurant founder Mario Brigotti (who did hail from New York City and eventually turned the place over to his son, Jim), the sauce was made from a vegetable and plum tomato base, as well as a secret blend of spices and super-fine ground beef that remains carefully guarded to this day.

And even though the checkered tablecloths are gone, that brown sauce still lives on — you just have to know where to look. Local supermarkets such as Heinen’s and Akron’s West Point Market carry it in cans bearing the New York Spaghetti House name, thanks to the Brigotti family who is keeping the signature sauces alive.

And if the brown sauce isn’t your style, you can also buy marinara and romana sauces, as well as the restaurant’s house salad dressing.(Visit newyorkspaghettihouse.com for more information.)

No, it can’t totally assuage the loss of a landmark eatery, but there’s something comforting in knowing you can still bring a piece of it home.
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