On June 13, 1955, my parents and I boarded a cruise ship in our hometown of Molfetta, Italy and embarked for New York City for a new life in America. It was the beginning of a lifelong relationship between New York city and my family.
Shortly after our arrival, my father became a waiter at Paul and Jimmy's Ristorante of Gramercy Park. Soon, my father made the decision to purchase the restaurant, and the Paul and Jimmy's Azzollini family legacy had begun.
I grew up dreaming that one day I would become the Chef and ultimately the owner of Paul and Jimmy's. It was a time of excitement and learning, but something was missing. A great life is like great food, you have to have the right ingredients. In 1976, I found the perfect recipe for happiness when I married my beautiful wife, Linda. With her love, support and hard work, Paul & Jimmy's grew into a New York City favorite. Coincidentally, as our business grew, so did our family with our amazing children Merisa, Lauren and Greg.
"Generations of Great Taste" is more than an advertising line at Paul and Jimmy's. It's a way of life. Today, I'm proud to say the Azzollini Family still runs every aspect of the restaurant.` My son Greg is our Executive Chef and the third generation to continue the legacy. Greg has brought a new dimension to the Paul and Jimmy's culinary experience by adding contemporary Italian flare to our menu, alongside our generations-old family recipes my parents brought to New York City. When you visit Paul and Jimmy's, we believe our food and atmosphere will make you feel like part of the family, a family that for over three generations has been proud to serve the New Yorkers and the world.
Over the years, Paul and Jimmy's has been a destination for New York's Governors, Mayors and celebrities from musicians to actors to sports. We have also served some of the most infamous of the New York families. When you come in, be sure to ask us to share some of our many stories.
Speaking of sharing, for many years, we have been asked, "Where can I buy your delicious sauces?" Well, we are excited to announce that we have launched "Paul and Jimmy’s Ristorante Sauces". So now, whether you’re a regular or an occasional out-of-town guest, the taste you thought you could only get in Manhattan will now be available nationwide.
My wife Linda and I and the entire Azzollini family look forward to sharing the Paul and Jimmy’s experience with you.
Louis & Linda Azzollini
As a child, visiting my grandfather Cosmo and my father Louis at the restaurant was an exciting event. The food. The people. The action. Even then I knew it was a very special place. During my teenage years, I worked as a busboy. When I attended the University of Connecticut, I worked my way up to being a waiter. Two things happened: I learned the business from the ground up, and I became inspired to become a chef. It is decision I have never regretted.
I couldn't have had a better teacher, mentor or role model than my father. He instilled in me the love of food, family and work. You have to love all three to really make it in this business. My father enjoyed having me in the kitchen, teaching me the basics of cooking and all our family recipes. But as I found out, school wasn't over yet.
Upon my college graduation, I began my formal culinary studies at the Institute of Culinary Education. It was an amazing experience of hard work and discipline which grew my passion to become a successful chef. It was in this period that I worked the line at Mario Batali’s Lupa Osteria in Manhattan. But then I realized that to truly understand the culture as well as the flavor of Italian cooking I had to go to Italy and experience it on a day-to-day basis. So I packed my bags and traveled to Tuscany where I had the opportunity to focus my attention on the finer points of traditional Italian cuisine at Ristorante Tonino.
It was the culmination of these years of experiences that lead me to take the helm as Executive Chef at Paul and Jimmy's Ristorante. As Executive Chef, I strive to use only the freshest, seasonal ingredients. We're proud to provide a variety of Italian cuisine, from our traditional family dishes as well as new contemporary Italian creations.
For over 65 years, the Azzollini family has taken pride in making their customers feel like they are part of our family. It is my honor to continue that family mission by delivering the finest cuisine and dining experience. When you visit Paul and Jimmy's, please ask for me so I can have the opportunity to talk with you and share some of our family's wonderful stories. I look forward to your next visit.
Greg Azzollini, Executive Chef
The Azzollini family has been creating memorable events for New Yorkers for generations. Paul & Jimmy's Ristorante's warm family atmosphere is recognized as a special destination for events. From small private affairs to extravagant events, Paul & Jimmy's event planning and catering creates a celebration of food. Whether your event is in our legendary Gramercy Park Ristorante or at the location of your choice, Paul & Jimmy's food will excite your guests and make your event a memory of a life time. We are happy to work with you to tailor our suggested menus to your taste. For details, please contact Louis or Greg.