Roots dating back, over four generations from Italy, to the USA, when nonno Santo opened, the Stony Brook Restaurant and Hotel in Long Island, NY that tragically, burned in a fire. Santo moved his young family, to Miami, FL, for a fresh start. Where Tony, Mast' Antonio, Santo affectionately, called his son. As a young boy fished in the Miami River, roller-skated to the local grocery store for family and neighbors, rode his pony amongst the stunning waterways. Likewise, backdrops of construction and prohibition, when the city allowed gambling and lax regulation, propelled thousands migrating from the north US, to downtown Miami.
Capitalizing, on opening the first Italian establishment on 1st Avenue, and Brickell, Santo called, the Empire Bar & Grill. Later adapting the name, Allegro to entice new customers, Santo introduced, ‘Small Plates.’ Delicious samplings of the menu, handed out to patrons enthusiastically, waiting to dine. Additionally, providing a harmonious, lively place with local musicians entertaining his guests, hence, the name, ‘Allegro’ was born, and the next generation of family owned, Restaurants and Bars.
Years following, Tony, a Master Chef that everyone now called (Babbo), moved the family back to New York. Continuing the tradition and excellence in fine dining, created the second Allegro restaurant and first sidewalk café on Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY. Then, a 3rd Allegro, Home of Fine Foods on Pelham Parkway, in the Bronx and with unmatched skills and his beautiful wife, Lucile, a brilliant pastry chef took great care, assembling a team of the best chefs, sommeliers and expert culinary staff.
Delighting oodles of neighborhood regulars from families to local business’, doctors, nurses, fire fighters, prominent judges. Even, up and coming actors, fashion designers and NYPD’s, 41st precinct, all loved and frequented, the Allegro. Whether the complex menu of amazing foods, superb wines, an energetic bar starring luscious cocktails or catered events, from the weddings, to annual venison parties always complimentary to dear friends and patrons.
And if that was not enough of an exciting upbringing, this enterprising Restaurateur, together with his son, Santino and business partner, expanded the family business into New York City's, Discothèque scene. Building, the Club Heat from an abandoned warehouse, to a famous Manhattan nightspot and main rival to the legendary, Steve Rubell’s, Studio 54. Igniting many media frenzies and a sundry of celebrity sightings, with two Superstar Rock and Roll shows a night, and vast waiting lines reaching back to the West Side Highway.
Fast forward, Today, Babbo's daughters - Born and raised in the restaurant and bar businesses, both naturally, talented cooks, bakers, confectioners and wine stewards, in their own right. Francesca, Chef, Food & Wine specialist, Media Entrepreneur, Writer and Photographer. Together with Cecile, Master of Marketing, Accomplished Business woman, and Author. And brother, Mast' Antonio, Jr., Chef Tony, ardently, carry on the family tradition, traveling the world to bring you the skinny, on the best, FoodsNWines!