Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oaks Inn

Did I ever tell you that my family owns a restaurant?

My great grandparents, my father's grandparents, Paolo and Teresa, came over from Italy in the early 1920's. My great-grandfather worked for a time at the Endicott Johnson Shoe Factory. My dad told me once that he was a healer. That he had a gift for helping people, for fixing them. People used to go to see him instead of going to the doctor's. Maybe that's where my brother gets it from. My great-grandmother was a housewife, I suppose. But with 8 kids, they needed to make a living somehow. And so in 1932 they opened Oaks Inn.

Yes, I realize the Italian on the menu doesn't really make any sense. To be honest, I don't think I've opened the menu since I was about 10 years old. The quote should read, "Un giorno senza vino e` come un giorno senza il sole." Don't worry, it's being updated.

Over the years, everyone on my dad's side of the family has worked there. My parents have old photos of them all. I'll have to get copies and upload them sometime. My dad even lived in the apartment above the restaurant when he was a little boy, before my grandparents bought their house. Today my father's cousins own the restaurant.

Someday, when I am rich, I am going to buy the restaurant from my cousins. It needs to be redecorated, reorganized, updated a little bit and brought back in time to its glory days. My brother said he'd help me. I won't touch the menu. Add to it a little bit perhaps, but the menu hasn't changed in years. But why should it? It's fantastic. I've literally gotten the exact same meal every time I've gone there since I was 10 years old.

Chicken Saltimbocca.
I mean, seriously?

My dad's favorite, Lemon Veal.

Homemade spaghetti and gnocchi.

I die.

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