Who did the cooking was a lot more important to Michael “The Nose” Mancuso than the recipe. Colombo soldier Michael Urvino makes pasta “gravy” good enough for 11 months in the slammer. 68-year-old Mancuso got out on parole in 2019 “after serving a decade in prison for signing off on a murderous hit.” Fuggeddaboudit, he chuckles. Everyone knows that he’s currently the “acting Bonanno mob boss” and he’s supposed to stay away from all his former contacts, like that’s going to happen. Wiretap radio has a new episode, “gravy or sauce?”
Cooking gravy or sauce?
There’s a lot more cooking in Michael Urvino’s kitchen than pasta and, as an experienced veteran of the mob wars, “The Nose” should have smelled a rat sooner. Wiretapped phone calls have him “headed back to the slammer for 11 months.” Mancuso is accused of “using his girlfriend’s Long Island eyeglass shop as a meet-up spot to huddle with mob types.” They also eat together a lot.
“All of the occasions were no no’s, since Mancuso has been barred from any contact with other convicted felons.” The Nose might not have actually been talking about dinner but even if he was, the phone call alone was a violation of his probation.
“Are you gonna do the gravy today or make the sauce?” Mancuso asked Michael Urvino on October 24, 2020. Neither of them knew the FBI was listening in. They know now because a transcript of the call was “presented by prosecutors in court to argue Mancuso was violating his release provisions.” Urvino wasn’t in a hurry about cooking dinner. “No, I’m making it in the morning, cause we’re not gonna eat early. What time you want to eat tomorrow?” Mancuso thought about it. “I don’t care, five o’clock or so?”
Happy Birthday, The Nose. July 18th, 1955: Michael Mancuso was born. The Nose became the current official boss of the Bonanno crime family while imprisoned in 2013. pic.twitter.com/903TqVY6qJ
— the ghost of albert anastasia (@lordofthemafia) July 18, 2023
The nose was on probation because “Vincent ‘Vinny Gorgeous‘ Basciano had ordered the murder” of “Bonanno associate Randolph Pizzolo in 2004” when Mancuso was “acting boss.” Pizzolo “was considered reckless and disobedient and Mancuso had Dominick Cicale carry out the deed.”
As prosecutors note, “the conversation appears innocent” but they’re used to that trick. “Mancuso allegedly used code words for Mafia business.” Cooking terms can be an expressive language. He’s back as a guest at the grey bar hotel for the “murder conspiracy” rap.
Even if they really were talking about dinner, “the Italian food chit-chat was still taboo, since Urvino was convicted of racketeering, illegal gambling and conspiracy.” Mancuso isn’t even allowed to pass notes to Urvino.
Real Eyes Optical
Laura Keller attended Mancuso’s hearing as he was sent back up the river for almost another year. She owns the eyeglass shop The Nose used for a clubhouse. As prosecutors told the judge, “Mancuso used Keller’s Great Neck eyeglass shop Real Eyes Optical ‘as a meeting place‘ while he tried to cover up his rendezvous with the alleged fellow wiseguys.”
The cooking gravy or sauce call wasn’t the only example feds had of Mancuso talking mob business in code. Prosecutor Michael Gibaldi asked the judge at the July 28 hearing to “put Mancuso away for another two years.”
Mancuso has been eating everyone’s cooking, all over town. “The feds said Mancuso violated the terms of his release from prison by sometimes dining with people including suspected mob members.”
Bonanno family boss Michael Mancuso is back! Michael Mancuso the alleged boss of the Bonanno crime family was released from a halfway house in Brooklyn on March 12th according to his official release date. pic.twitter.com/zNWyMAqNuX
— Deep Cover Podcast (@DeepCoverShow) March 28, 2019
Gibaldi was steamed that Mancuso attended “at least one dinner where Mafia business was discussed” and added that he had “significant concerns about these contacts.” Dinner can be a deadly thing for those guys.
For instance, “Mancuso went to one October 7, 2020, dinner at Elmont’s Salvatore’s restaurant that was attended by Uvino, Colombo captain Vincent Ricciardo, convict David Del Franco, Gambino associate Vito Cortesiano and convict Joseph Russo.” Mancuso’s mouthpiece, Stacy Richman, used the Joe Biden defense, insisting “that while he may have violated the conditions of his release, he had committed ‘no crimes.‘”
Violating the conditions is a crime but what he meant was that his client hasn’t been accused of killing anyone lately. Only a little creative cooking. The nose is set to check in to jail on September 6. “In between now and then, there are no dinners,” the judge said. He can’t visit the eyeglass shop for three years after he gets back out.