All began in 1965 when Erminia Lattanzi left Italy to come to Brooklyn, New York with her 5 children, Giuseppe, Stella, Vittorio, Maurizio, and Paolo. Looking for new opportunity, Erminia went to work alongside Paolo, who shared her love of the kitchen. They scoured local markets for ingredients comparable to what they had in Rome but often had to improvise due to high costs and scarce availability of quality meats, cheeses, and spices. Erminia developed a knack for eggplant, which she called "steak without the bone," and Paolo began to make his own mozzarella because he didn't like what local delis had to offer.
What was once a personal passion turned into professional ambition in 1978, when our family opened a Roman Italian Cucina in the Upper East Side, named Trastavere (later called Tevere). The business quickly grew, as word spread about the authentic Italian cuisine that was difficult to find elsewhere (not to mention the ingenious eggplant dishes and fine homemade pasta and mozzarella).
By the early 1980's, we opened four more restaurants, splitting operating duties across each of the children, while Paolo remained Executive Chef of them all. In the spring of 1984, Lattanzi Cucina Italiana was opened at 361 West 46th Street, but not before a tremendous amount of work and effort to get the building up to standard. Though the block was deemed Restaurant Row -"16 of the best restaurants collected in such a short strip of land"- by Mayor John Lindsay in 1973. The area might not have been ideal in 1984, but the promise of authentic Italian Roman Cuisine and Broadway theatre kept the crowds coming. Over the years, Lattanzi has grown from a one-room Italian Cucina into a multi-story unique Ristorante. Though the building has undergone extensive renovation, most has remained largely the same, from the menu to the staff to the Executive Chef, Paolo Lattanzi. Today we still specialize in the cuisine of Rome. The signature dish artichokes deep-fried in olive oil and garlic are a Roman-Jewish classic, and other regional favorites are even more fulfilling. The menu is filled with fish, meat and, of course, pasta!. To finish, try the crispy, custardy napoleon. A truly dreamy dessert. For over 36 years:
Live. Love. Lattanzi.