It all started two generations ago with Jonathan’s bisnonno Don Pasquale who was head of the Pastai in Gragnano, the Frizzante Six nations flag pizzasheart of pasta making in Italy (a short history of pasta making in Gragnano is displayed in the entrance to Bar Frizzante).
Pasquale started his first business venture in La Dolce Vita in East Fountainbridge, where the business was regarded by many food critics as “years ahead of its time”.
“Pasquale found it amusing that people would tell him they were reading a book and the characters would be going to the restaurant to eat, fame indeed!”
Pasquale then moved to Gilmore Place where he opened the hugely popular Pasquale’s in 1990. The restaurant was a massive success in bringing a wide range of film stars, football players and many well-known characters. Pasquale always maintained the real stars were the regular clients who came every week and who helped make the business the success it was. He had one couple who loved coming to the Pasquale’s so much they had their wedding service in the restaurant. Pasquale even took part in a fashion shoot for the Herald Sunday supplement such was the restaurant’s appeal.
Pasquale found it amusing that people would tell him they were reading a book and the characters would be going to the restaurant to eat, fame indeed! The restaurant’s fame spread worldwide, Pasquale was even interviewed by an American journalist, Santacroce, for the New York Times.
Pasquale was given many awards and accolades for the restaurant but the icing on the cake was the award from the Italian President for promoting Italian food around the world (the plaque now resides in the window of Bar Frizzante). This in turn lead to Pasquale being given the honour of Cavaliere by President Scarfaro in Rome.
Pasquale decide at the age of 53 he should retire and do some of the travelling that building a successful Italian Restaurant business had not allowed for. The difficult decision to sell his other restaurant was made – Ciao Ragazzi, situated in the High Street, was popular with many street vendors, performers, lawyers and Italian tourists who loved having their photograph taken beneath the nameplate.
“We get to know many of the clients really well as they usually come back with friends and family to celebrate another happy occasion”
This sojourn was not to last long as his son Jonathan decided he would like to take over L’Amore D’Italia in Fountainbridge after the birth of his daughter Ayda. L’Amore was a well loved Karaoke restaurant at weekends helping families and friends celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, in fact any big group looking to have good food and fun. We got to know many of the clients really well as they usually came back with friends and family to celebrate another happy occasion.
The restaurant won an award for gluten free catering which unfortunately we never picked up as we were already on the move. L’Amore was also voted best karaoke in Scotland and came fifth in the UK in a daily Telegraph poll.
Pasquale is now lending a guiding hand and the benefit of his many years in the restaurant trade to Jonathan (he also needed somewhere to go where he could get a good espresso!) at his new stand-alone venture Bar Frizzante where Jonathan hopes to emulate his fathers success.
And so the story continues…
And so the story continues…