Three Scotto siblings and their mother Marion opened Fresco by Scotto in 1993 with executive chef David Buico running the kitchen. Since then, the midtown eatery has become a power lunch spot, offering unpretentious crowd-favorites like potato and zucchini chips, penne gratin, crispy margarita pizzas and tiramisu to Manhattan’s movers and shakers.
Here, co-owner Rosanna Scotto, co-anchor of Good Day New York, shares her favorite Fresco by Scotto milestones with DuJour.
“In the weeks after opening our Fresco by Scotto restaurant in midtown, my mom, sister Elaina and brother Anthony wanted to accommodate everyone. They booked 150 people at the same time one night, 7:30 p.m.. The line was out the door with people waiting. Elaina got so nervous that she hyperventilated and passed out. Mom and Anthony pretended not to notice and continued working the room.”
“After being named co-anchor of Good Day New York, I had my family on the show to cook some of their favorite recipes. I have had tough interviews with politicians and celebrities, but those paled in comparison to reminding my mother it wasn’t her show.”
“Our first cookbook, Fresco: Modern Tuscan Cooking for All Seasons, opened the door to many TV appearances including regular demos on many shows like The Today Show (Christmas 1997) and The Ellen DeGeneres Show (January 2007) but, most importantly, my own show, Good Day New York.”
October 11, 2001
“Bill and Hillary Clinton dining with friends. It was great to see the President, who had just left office, enjoying our ice cream sandwich dessert—and not sharing.”
November 12, 2001
“The days after September 11th were heartbreaking. We were really moved when Mayor Rudy Giuliani came into our dining room and everyone spontaneously gave him a standing ovation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
“Jennifer Aniston dining with friends, while we were at the restaurant celebrating our Fresco cookbook. Being a big fan of hers, that was a nice surprise.”
“Fresco branched out into catering with our food being served at Yankee Stadium and, in 2012, The Barclays Center. It was a treat to cater backstage for Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney and One Direction.”
“Yankees owner George Steinbrenner used to dine front and center with his top brass, and signed many of the ball players, including Posada and Roger Clemons, at the restaurant. George loved to say, ‘The planning starts here.’ We have a plaque with that quote on the wall near where he used to sit.”
“Leonardo DeCaprio and Robert DeNiro came into Fresco with uber publicist Ken Sunshine. Leo and Robert needed to talk privately, so Mom took them to our office in the basement. Our staff nearly had a heart attack!”
“Sly Stallone was a regular during previews of the Rocky musical on Broadway. I lost count of how many people wanted to playfully jab Sly!”
Fresco by Scotto
34 East 52 Street