Sandro's Restaurant

It all started with what seemed like a simple decision. Sandro’s father gave him the ultimatum of either continuing his studies or going to work. He started washing dishes and peeling potatoes, working his way up in the kitchen of Ristorante Cacciani ( Frascati – Rome). On his 17th birthday he became sous chef to the renowned Franco Carbonari. Just a few days short of his 21st birthday in 1968, he won a first prize at the prestigious Circolo della Stampa in Milan. In presenting him with his award, the dean of Italian food critics, Vincenzo Buonassisi said, "given the opportunity, you will, one day, bring a whole new dimension to the thousand year old tradition of Italian cooking."

After working at Cacciani, Sandro was ready to open his first restaurant, D'Artagnan, named in memory of the great Dumas hero who, in one of the chapters of the The Three Musketeers, outlined a dessert recipe with 20 pounds of ingredients and a quart of liquor. D'Artagnan was a success, featuring a variety of innovative dishes that were to become Sandro signatures: risotto with strawberries, salads made with fried tulips, penne with a sauce of vodka. He also excelled with the more familiar presentations of roast meats and fowl, homemade pastas and soups. The olive oils were seasoned as were the vinegars and the fiery grappas – with garlic, rosemary, chili peppers, oranges, peaches, bananas and raspberries.

In 1984 while attending the GRI (Gruppo Ristatori Italiani) convention in Parma, Italy, Tony May, GRI's chairman, owner of San Domenico NY and a long-time friend, offered Sandro an opportunity to open a restaurant in New York City. The original Sandro's, which opened in 1985, was an instant success, introducing both Sandro and authentic Italian cuisine to New York City.

For seven years, Sandro drew people to his restaurant with dishes then unheard of to New Yorkers. USA Today considered Sandro’s to be one of the top 10 new restaurants in America.

When Sandro's closed in 1992, Sandro consulted for restaurants like Nello’s (NYC),Coco Pazzo (Chicago),il Buco (NYC), and Sapore Di Mare (Hamptons). He moved to the Caribbean where he opened an eponymous restaurant and enjoyed the island life with his family. After a hurricane destroyed the restaurant, he returned to New York to open Sandro's on Ninth Avenue at 22nd Street.

In the spring of 2007, Sandro came full circle with the opening of his fourth restaurant on East 81st Street. The restaurant, serving Sandro's signature Roman-style cuisine, is a favorite to both New Yorkers and Italian food lovers everywhere.