Pino Luongo

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Giuseppe "Pino" Luongo[1] (born 1952/1953) is an American-based Italian restaurateur, businessman, and memoirist. He owned or co-owned such former New York and Chicago restaurants as Il Cantinori, Le Madri, Centolire, Coco Pazzo (NY and Chicago), Coco Pazzo Cafe (Chicago), Coco Pazzo Teatro, Tuscan Square, and the Wainscott, New York-based Sapore di Mare.[2] Morso, a New York restaurant he helped create and runs remains open.

Born in Florence, Italy, the eldest of six children of Antonio and Mafalda Luongo, he was raised in Tuscany's Porto Santo Stefano region, where he learned to cook from his mother. At age 19, he registered for the Italian military as a “conscientious objector”. Around nine years later he was called up, for which he blamed his father, a military veteran, and from whom he would remain estranged until the latter's death. He fled conscription to New York in 1981, and began his career as a busboy at a famed Italian eatery, Da Silvano, of which he would later become manager. On October 23, 1983, he opened his first establishment, Il Cantinori, with two partners. His next restaurant, which opened in 1988, was Sapore di Mare in Wainscott, Long Island. Infamous for his temperament, Luongo later earned the nickname "Pino Noir".[3]

Luongo has written or co-written five cookbooks: A Tuscan in the Kitchen, Simply Tuscan, Fish Talking, La Mia Cucina Toscana and Two Meatballs (along with Mark Strausman), as well as a memoir, Dirty Dishes — A Restaurateur's Story of Passion, Pain and Pasta.[3]

In 2017, The New York Post reported that Luongo, "a pioneer in popularizing Tuscan cuisine in America, is branching out to Soho. Luongo, who runs the successful Morso on East 59th Street, has signed a lease to launch an eatery ... at 160 Prince St[reet] ..."[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Luongo and his second wife have three children, and reside in Westchester County, New York.


  1. ^ Fabricant, Florence (August 14, 1996). "Portfolios and Menus: Wall Street Invests in Fine Dining". The New York Times. Mr. Luongo, 43 
  2. ^ Fabricant, Florence (1993-11-10). "Clearing a Path as a Restaurateur From Busboy to Empire Builder". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-07-23. 
  3. ^ a b "Pino Luongo website".\accessdate=2017-07-23. 
  4. ^ Cuozzo, Steve (2017-04-03). "Italian restaurant pioneer to take over famed SoHo bar space". Retrieved 2017-07-23. 
  5. ^ Frank DiGiacomo. "Pino’s Luongo Journey Back". Retrieved 2017-07-23. 

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