Welcome to our family’s restaurant, where our guests and staff are all one big family to us. Throughout the many years of serving Central Florida we have developed so many amazing relationships with our guests. We have shared in our guests’ happiest times and some of the saddest. We have gone to our guests weddings, and then sadly some funerals. We have been a part of so many families’ lives and so many generations, that it gives us such great pleasure to have done this through our passion for food. So many memories have been made throughout our many restaurants in the past and we are looking forward in creating many more!
Stefano was raised in a small town in Marsala, Sicily and was a fisherman most of his life. Working on his father’s fishing boat; his major duty was cooking for the entire crew. The duty of cooking quickly became Stefano’s passion. He moved to America in 1974 and has been a chef ever since. It was in Brooklyn, New York where he met his wife, Marie and soon after two beautiful children Antoniella and Leonardo (Lenny). Stefano had dreamed of someday owning a restaurant. He worked extremely hard and only to find himself part owner of a pizzeria/restaurant in Queens, NY. He decided to move to Florida, and in the late 80’s worked for a family who owned Sorrento’s. After developing a great name for himself he decided it was time to open a restaurant of his own. In 1994, his dream came true and Stefano’s Trattoria opened. It was a very small restaurant located in Winter Park, Florida, with a typical wait time of over an hour every night. Customers would share their tables with complete strangers to keep the wait time down (some of those guests became great friends and still dine with Stefano today). The cooking was not the only thing that made people wait. It was also the love and passion that was put forth from Stefano and his wife Marie along side his two children to make his dream come true. The employees became an extended family for Stefano, also known as “Papa Stefano”. He would cook two huge meals every day, lunch and dinner, for all the employees to sit and eat together, as a family. Working for Papa Stefano was unlike working for any other restaurant-corporation. We all know that most corporations are put together through many investors trying to fill their pockets. Stefano’s little restaurant was put together through his hard work and his family’s dedication to fulfill his dream. Love and passion are two main ingredients to a great meal and that is what many corporations lack. After being opened for four years, Stefano and Marie realized that the Trattoria, a thirteen-table establishment, was a bit too small. They sold the trattoria and opened their second concept, IL Pescatore.
They decided to name his second restaurant IL Pescatore, which translates to The Fisherman, since that is where his passion for cooking began. After five years in that location, Stefano and his family soon realized once again that they outgrew yet another restaurant. Wanting to accommodate all families, large and small, Stefano and his family sold IL Pescatore and opened their third concept.
Their third restaurant was in Winter Springs, in which they named Stefano’s Trattoria, in honor of his first successful restaurant in Orlando. The 175-seat restaurant quickly became a big hit in Winter Springs. After 10 years of hard work and dedication Stefano and his wife Marie decided to retire and enjoy their grandchildren. Not even two years into retirement, Stefano quickly realized he was missing something. Retirement was a time to enjoy his life with his family, but why was he so lifeless…and it was then that Papa Stefano told his wife Marie he wanted another restaurant. Marie, who has supported her husband throughout the many years, understood Stefano the most. “Stefano has a TRUE passion for what he does, and without that in his life, he wouldn’t be content.” Ironically all the guests knew Stefano would never retire, and they were right. Other than fishing and cooking, his grandchildren are his new profound love. So he decided to name this restaurant, Nonno’s, which translates to Grandfather in Italian. You will find here at Nonno’s Italian Restaurant the same ambiance and atmosphere that you would have found at all his previous restaurants. The only change will be instead of referring him as “Papa Stefano”, he will now be “Nonno Stefano.”
Stefano and his family have won numerous awards in many different publications. Nonno Stefano introduced Central Florida to his famous Stuffed Chicken Balls. He has also been recognized for his delicious Seafood dishes and his most popular creation Tortellini di Stefano, which will be renamed to Tortellini di Leo.
Throughout the many years of serving Central Florida, Stefano, Marie and his two children have developed a remarkable name and reputation for themselves. Their family’s recipe for success has been through hard work, dedication and a true passion for this industry. For delicious pizza visit our sister location in Winter Park. Antonellaspizza.com