Antonio’s Turns 30

Antonio’s Cucina Italiana marked a major milestone on Thursday, May 2, as the longstanding restaurant celebrated 30 years in business at 288 Cambridge St.

“We were slammed from the day we opened. We were so busy trying to get organized that we had to take some tables out to get thing under control, but we eventually put the tables back in,” recalled Steven Colarusso, the restaurant’s owner and a North End native, of the restaurant’s opening day on Thursday, May 2, 1994.

While Antonio’s continues to offer daily veal, chicken, and seafood specials for both lunch and dinner, its regular menu has remained largely the same.

“We’ve added a few things here and there [to the regular menu], but not much has changed, besides the specials,” said Steven. “If it’s working, don’t change it.”

Besides attributing the restaurant’s continuing success to its ‘consistency,’ Steven said, “The food has to come out hot, with smoke coming off it. It goes from the pan to the dish. And if you see the same people coming back, you know you’re doing something right. We try to give them a lot of food and keep the prices reasonable.”

The restaurant underwent an extensive renovation that wrapped in early February. Besides refreshing the interior space itself with a fresh paint job; new ceilings and floors; and new furniture, the revitalized Antonio’s now boasts a new surround-sound system; new lighting; and a new service bar, as well as several images of Boston landmarks and locales taken by award-winning photographer Matt Conti, which now adorn  the walls.

Steven’s son, Michael, works alongside his father at the restaurant every day in preparation of one day running Antonio’s himself. “The faster, the better,” said Steven of handing off the reins to Michael.

Looking back over the past 30 years, Steven is most appreciative of the faithful patrons and longtime employees who’ve helped make Antonio’s such a longstanding success.

“We want to thank everyone for coming over the past 30 years,” said Steven, singling out the Beacon Hill and Mass General Hospital communities for their unwavering support over the years.

Steven also thanked the kitchen staff, servers, the hostesses and the “whole crew” who’ve helped contribute to the restaurant’s ongoing success, adding that nearly every member of his family has worked or helped out at Antonio’s at one time or another. He also singled out two longtime servers, Steven La Rocca and Ralph Ruzzo, for particular praise..

“We’ve been doing the same thing her for 30 years,” he said. “It’s like Groundhog Day.” Visit Antonio’s Cucina Italiana online at, or call the restaurant at 617-367-3310

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