Mario's Restaurant has been run by the Migliucci family for five generations. Currently, the restaurant is run by Mario's son Joseph whose great-grandfather opened the restaurant in 1919 after moving to New York from Naples. You will also find Joseph's wife Barbara running front of the house, his daughter Regina helping out, and his son Michael in the kitchen. Also in the kitchen is Massimo Celso, an Italian-born chef who now helps oversee the classic food.
And while not all the waiters are actually part of the family, they have been working there long enough and know all the regulars, that they are now honorary members.
This is the kind of place you'll find Italian-Americans from all over the tri-state area dining for a special night out or after a day of grocery shopping around the Arthur Avenue neighborhood, just like we do on our Arthur Avenue Food Tour.
Some famous names are also intrinsically tied to Mario's. A famous scene from Mario Puzo's book The Godfather was set here and so when Francis Ford Coppola was scouting locations for the film, he wanted to set a pivotal scene at the restaurant. But Mario (the owner) politely declined wanting his restaurant to be associated with good food and not a murder.
What started as a modest pizzeria has turned into one of the largest and most celebrated restaurants in the neighborhood. It has expanded over the generations and while pizza is still one of their specialities, they have become known for their excellent red sauce dishes and regional specialities.
Veal is done right in many different preparations, you can't miss the octopus salad, and there are a slew of incredible homemade pasta dishes. But the best part might be when the dessert carts come rolling by and it's impossible to resist a cannoli, slice of cheesecake, and tiramisu. Take one of each.
This is a taste of old school New York. White tablecloths, a spacious dining room, and personable waiters give this place an old school charm. The food is also great and it's a local family run business that keep the traditions and memories alive. It's a great place to come for true New York-Italian culture.
2342 Arthur Avenue,
Bronx, New York 10458