It all began, Calabria, Italy. Both of my parents were born in Calabria, a region in Southern Italy facing the Mediterranean (the heel as is often described). In an area that is most notably known for its traditional curing of meats & vegetables in olive oil (Sopressata), fried honey-sweetened pastries and baked biscotti – Food has always held a strong presence in the region and in our lives.
In 1947 my father and uncle immigrated to the United States. In search of a better life and more opportunities they worked various jobs in hotels and restaurants as they gained their footing in Albany. In 1957, they decided to venture out on their own and started Cosimo’s on Western Avenue in Albany. In a converted home, they started to return to the comfort foods they knew as children. Chicken Parmesan, Veal Scaloppini, Lobster Newburg, pizza and pasta’s were mainstays on the menu.
While my mother kept the home in line, my father worked extremely long hours on building the business and our livelihood. Over the years as the area grew, so too did the restaurant. In 1970, they added a second floor and offered banquet services. As the years passed by, Cosimo’s continued to thrive and as we grew so too did our involvement. My siblings and I moved from peeling potatoes, to washing dishes, cooking on the line; all the while observing and interacting with our valued customers.
My father was of the mindset to “give them more”– whether that be an extra meatball, spoonful of pasta, or drink at the bar- keep the customer happy & wanting more! As the years passed by, and times changed with the introduction of the “chain restaurant”, our family decided it was time to move on. We had a great run, but after 32 years of serving our loyal community, Cosimo’s served its last plate of pasta in 1989.
And here ‘s where the Primo’s story begins… Please “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date.