"Before they started this construction I had 200 tomato plants, 100 pepper plants, 50 or 60 eggplant and zucchini, it was just wonderful cooking it up. We would put this in a big basket because we couldn't use all I grew and out in the front put out bags and people would help themselves to what they want on the way home," said Bove, who still grows his vegetables and herbs, just in a different plot.
From "farm" to plate is how Bove grew to love food and appreciate Italian cuisine, so it was only natural for My Way CafE to be an extension of that.
"My mother is from Calabria in southern Italy and my father's from the Naples area, so his is more of a metropolitan type of food. My mother's area cooked out of the garden so as a kid I grew up on a farm in Mechanicville and that's exactly what we did," said Bove. "We picked tomatoes and made sauce. We'd bring in the flour and she'd make pasta and we'd have fresh pasta and sauce. I ate an awful lot of eggplant, a lot of peppers and a lot of zucchini."
Those deep Italian roots had an impact on the menu, so don't expect to find the types of entrees served at the mainstream red sauce restaurants. From the sausage (he makes it himself) to the sauce (chunky and fresh) to the bread (baked and served in a flower pot), Bove created a true Italian experience.
"We do one called "the Napoleon." It starts off with baby spinach, uncooked, then veal, chicken or sausage on top of that, then we add seasoned ricotta and sautEed eggplant with provolone cheese and bake it off and top with pomodoro whole tomato sauce," said Bove.
His tomato sauce is something Bove is extremely proud of, yet very particular about.