Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

The New York Yankees season could have been a strikeout, but chef Marcus Samuelsson’s show every Tuesday in the YES Network app is a grand slam.

In “Home Plate,” Samuelsson, 50, wakes up to a diverse selection of NYC’s best mom and pop eateries chosen by former Yankees – Bernie Williams, 53, and David Cone, 58 – New York Liberty’s Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere, 22 along with Lorraine Bracco, 67, and Steve Schirripa, 64, of “The Sopranos.”

“That’s all we love about the city. It’s sport, it’s family, it’s people, ”Samuelsson told The Post about his new series, where he helps prepare a variety of dishes — from old-school Italian, Nigerian and Puerto Rican to a tough Texas grill — with local chefs.

But the real fun goes down as Samuelsson moves it up the table with these New York icons giving him “a back of the house” look into their lives, taste buds and achievements.

Bernie Williams joins Marcus Samuelsson, big daughter Beatriz and Counter & Bodega owner Sophie Serrano "The home plate."
Bernie Williams (second from left) joins Marcus Samuelsson, Yankee legend’s daughter Beatriz, and Counter & Bodega owner Sophie Serrano on “Home Plate.”

In one scene, Cone recounts a joke he had during World Series 2000 in which he convinced the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner that the Mets had spied on their clubhouse, resulting in the boss pulling his perfect jug into a main lock. When it comes to adventures with Steinbrenner, Cone told The Post: “There are definitely a couple of them that are almost ‘Seinfeld’ section-like stories.”

In others, Williams recalls playing his guitar on rides for away games – he even got Derek Jeter to sing Lionel Richie occasionally – and Onyenwere shares some surprising facts about her journey to success (including that no one in her family played basketball).

Do you want to eat like these big names? Here are their hand-picked places, all based on the cultures they grew up in.

David Cones pitch-perfect grill

Hill Country Barbecue Market is a brisket lover's paradise.
Hill Country Barbecue is a brisket lover’s paradise.
Stefano Giovannini

Barbecue is just shy of a religion in Cone’s hometown of Kansas City, Mo. – so he knows the Hill Country Barbecue Market in the Flatiron District means business.

“It’s about as good as it gets in New York City,” the pitcher told The Post. “The focus is on the meat instead of the sauces.”

Going behind the scenes with Hill Country’s culinary director Ash Fulk, Cone and Samuelsson got a glimpse of what goes into the restaurant’s iconic “classic breast grill”, cooked on a massive, custom-made smoker for about 13 hours.

If there are two things David Cone is an expert at, it's baseball and barbecue.
If there are two things, David Cone is an expert in baseball and barbecue.

Hill Country Grill Market, 30 W. 26th St .;

Nigerian delicacies loved by Michaela Onyenwere

Samuelsson and owner work on Nigerian delicacies with Buka owner Lookman Afolayan.
Samuelsson and owner work on Nigerian delicacies with Buka owner Lookman Afolayan.

The daughter of Nigerian parents, this WNBA standout was eager to dine at one of her favorite restaurants, Buka, an African eatery in Brooklyn.

In fact, good Nigerian cuisine was “one of the first things” Onyenwere once drafted for its New York team, she said.

Buka owner and chef Lookman Afolayan took Onyenwere and Samuelsson behind the scenes to whip up a traditional casserole made with cassava-based dough known as fufu as well as spicy meat skewers called suya and jollof rice, which Samuelsson calls “the secret behind West Africa. ”

Both Samuelsson and Onyenwere had visible fun in this episode.
Both Samuelsson and Onyenwere had visible fun in this episode.

Buka, 946 Fulton St., Clinton Hill;

Bernie Williams’ Puerto Rican election

Empanadas and rice from Counter & Bodega.
Empanadas and rice are a draw at Counter & Bodega.
Credit: counterandbodega / Instagr

The spice and flare of the Portuguese restaurant Counter & Bodega in Chelsea was perfect for Williams, a first timer to the eatery and native to the island.

In their section, chefs Alejandro Carretero Williams and Samuelsson learn tricks for making sofritosovs; plantain-based dishes such as mashed mofongo and stuffed and fried pionono; and some delicious empanadas.

The outfielder opens up his passion outside of baseball – playing the guitar – and even performs some merengue tables.

“Strangely enough, music came at the same time I was playing baseball,” Williams told Samuelsson about growing up in Puerto Rico.

If there's one thing Bernie Williams loves as much as baseball, it's his guitar.
Williams marries his two loves when he plays guitar at the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction ceremonies.

Counter & Bodega, 216 Seventh Ave., Chelsea;

A ‘Sopranos’ reunion in the Bronx

This staple from Arthur Avenue looks special "The home plate."
Linguine with chopped mussels and shrimp in a light tomato sauce on Enzo on Arthur Avenue.
Helayne Seidman
Steve Schirripa is a big fan of Enzo's meatballs.
Schirripa is a big fan of Enzo’s meatballs.
David X Prutting /
Lorraine Bracco had lots of fun making Italian meals and sharing moments from making "The sopranos.  '
Bracco had lots of fun making Italian meals and shared memories of making “The Sopranos.”

Bracco and Schirripa chose to try Italian staple Enzo on Arthur Avenue for their episode, which airs Tuesday.

They went to the kitchen to make various pork dishes, pasta and Enzo’s signature meatballs with onions and peppers, and later they shared all sorts of stories from the “Sopranos” set, owner Ralph Martucci told The Post.

“They really got into it. Steve loved the meatballs, ”said Martucci, whose restaurant was closed for 10 months during the pandemic.

Spotlighting NYC’s besieged restaurant industry is part of the show’s mission, the host said.

“With COVID, we’ve all had to work harder to get back together,” Samuelsson said. “It feels great to support these small businesses [with] some legends about our city. ”

Enzo, 2339 Arthur Ave., Little Italy, The Bronx;


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