Nov. 15, 2018 By Meghan Sackman
A high-end Italian restaurant opened on 37th Avenue in the Bruson Building over the weekend where Armondo’s was previously based.
Romeo’s Italian Restaurante, located at 74-27 37th Ave, offers traditional food—from chicken parmesan, baked ziti to sea bass–in a space filled with Italian ambiance.
The restaurant’s decor has an Italian feel with its brick walls, white table cloths, and single red rose centerpieces. The establishment can seat around 60 people.
The establishment is co-owned by Charles Aliaga and Glenda Tenisaka, both first time restaurant owners with previous experience working in Italian restaurants in Manhattan. They met while working at Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant in midtown.
The pair believe that there is a need for their restaurant on 37th Avenue, noting that there is a lack of quality Italian options in that part of Jackson Heights.
“There is a shortage of Italian restaurants offering fine dining in this neighborhood,” Aliaga said. “We wanted to bring our experience from Manhattan to Jackson Heights.”
Aliaga said that he used to patronize Armondo’s, the Italian restaurant located where Romeo’s is.
Armondo’s left the space as a result of a massive 2014 fire that engulfed the entire Bruson Building, which took the landlord more than 3 years to rebuild and repair.
Aliaga said he waited for Armondo’s to reopen at the location but it never did. It eventually moved to 73-16 Northern Blvd., leaving the space open for Aliaga and Tenisaka to take it.
The pair have brought on Manuel Saavedra to be the chef who specializes in Italian cuisine and worked with them at Giovanni’s.
Aliaga, who has lived in Jackson Heights for the past 18 years, is currently overseeing the opening while Tenisaka, his business partner and a Bronx resident, is on maternity leave.
A popular dish since its opening has been the grilled branzino, an Italian sea bass, Aliaga said. Other popular dishes include the squid ink linguine seafood pasta, as well as the homemade raviolis with spinach and ricotta cheese.
The restaurant has a liquor license and is stocked with an international selection of wines.