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March 03, 1989 - Image 66

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I BEST OF EVERYTHING

A Restaurant's Fine Tradition
Continues With New Bosses

DANNY RASKIN

Local Columnist

F

.NN

Rialto Cafe

Award-winning
restaurant
for the
budget-minded
family.

• Cocktails •

Fresh, wholesome
food, complete
menu for all ages.

Imsapp

."

22740 Woodward Ave., just south of 9 Mile Rd.
Ferndale
544.7933

r

COUPON r

RESTAURANT
NICK vir
S

(Next to Majestic Market)

25861 LAHSER AT CIVIC CENTER DRIVE • Smithfield • 354-3640

BUY ONE GET ONE
50% OFF
p.m. to 10 p.m

SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, 3

FRESH FISH • RIBS • CHICKEN • LAMB

I

OPEN FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

CARRY-OUT & FREE DELIVERY AVAILABLE

BREAKFAST • 2 EGGS • HASH BROWNS
SPECIAL
• BACON, HAPLOR SAUSAGE

6 179

7 a.m. to 11 a.m. • TOAST & JELLY

L

J

ItAIATALI EL4 5

RESERVED SUNDAY FOR PRIVATE PARTIES
RESTAURANT
1196 HAGGERTY RD., Just S. of 14 in The Country Ridge Commons
Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-12 Mid., Sat. 5 p.m.-12 Mid. • 788-0505

!BUY

ONE DINNER GET 2nd DINNER ATI

HALF PRICE
I LMon.-Thurs.
Applies To Dinner of Equal or Lesser Value. Menu Items Only. 1
With This Coueon
• Expires 3-9-89



J1 11

66

FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 1989

rom yesteryears to
days of today could
very well parallel
many of the workings be-
tween Paradiso Cafe and the
Roman Terrace.
In making the rounds of
fine dining Italian
restaurants, it would be quite
remissful not to recall the
Roman Terrace, 12 Mile and
Orchard Lake roads.
Here is another of those
good food and good service
spots that people take for
granted and many times
forget about until reminded of
the meal enjoyed there at
another occasion.
Big change has occurred at
Roman 'Terrace, which opened
its doors 16 years ago on
March 15, 1973.
This is a gracious
restaurant, with decor ap-
pointments that lean toward
the soft, elegant side with its
150 seating in the main din-
ing room and 50 in the
lounge.
New owner with one of the
original partners, Bob
McDonald, is Joe Machiorlat-
ti, owner of Mr. Joe's on 12
Mile and Northwestern Hwy.
. . . With him came 25 years
in the restaurant game.
Bob is an operator with ex-
perience in all phases of the
restaurant business from
cook to waiter to host to
bartender to manager, etc.
He had previously been
with his in-laws, Angelina
and Pete Fracchia, at the
well-known former Italian
restaurant, Paradiso Cafe .. .
With Bob came Frank Crac-
chiolo, one of the original
chefs at Paradiso . . . Frank
still oversees the soups and
sauces at Roman Terrace.
. Paradiso Cafe was on Wood-
ward, north of Six Mile .. .
Plump, pink-skinned, white-
haired Frank Raiti, senior
partner and general manager,
was a one-time vintner who
came to the United States to
make his fortune and lost his
shirt . . . not once but a cou-
ple of times . . . In a delightful
Italian accent, Raiti would
tell how he came to this coun-
try in 1923 looking for gold in
the streets . . . Unaware that
the Volstead Act was in force,
Frank pursued his old coun-
try trade here in Detroit for a
number of years until he had
a tidy nest egg built up .. .
Then he returned to Italy .. .
With the small capital he had
amassed, Frank opened wine

shops in Milano and Napoli
. . . He propsered until the '29
crash reached the continent
. . . Frank was broke again
and out of business.
Back to the promised land
he came in 1930 and once
again Frank kept body and
soul together pursuing his old
world trade . . . In spite of his
meager knowledge of English
and scant familiarity with
the law, Frank was soon doing
very well . . . When repeal of
the Volstead came to pass,
Frank opened the Paradiso in
1933 . . . By 1940, he had ac-
quired a couple of partners,
added another in 1946 and for
many years the Paradiso
flourished.
With Frank Raiti at the
helm, ably assisted by part-
ners Pete Fracchia and Cam
Cracchiolo, who did the cook-
ing, Paradiso Cafe became a
dining out byword among
localites . . . Its fourth partner
and maitre d' was Paul
Manos.
At the Roman Terrace, you
won't find chairs in too many
places like those that are
there . . . tall, padded,
simulated leather with cop-
per nailings all around .. .
And the high-backed burgun-
dy leather-look padded booths
are comfortable and beautiful
. . . The decor is most con-
ducive for intimate ease .. .
with its recessed ceiling
lights, stucco walls, etched
glass with Roman or Italian
head figures, fresh plants
changed each week, soft
lighting, chandeliers over
booths, mirrors, etc. . . . Along
the Orchard Lake Road side is
a new windowed overhang
with tables behind arched
wall openings.
Roman Terrace is made up
into three sectors . . . main
dining room, lounge and
Francesco banquet room,
named after Francesco
"Frank" Cracchiolo, now
semi-retired but still oversee-
ing all the authentic Italian
items like he prepared with
brother Cam at Paradiso.
Good food and good service
are high standards at Roman
Terrace, but its cleanliness is
a standout . . . Recent score by
Oakland County Health
Dept. gave it a whopping 96
percent.
.It is noted for homemade
cooking . . . soft breadsticks,
soups, sauces, canoli, can-
nellone, ravioli, spumone,
meat sauce, marinara sauce,
and much more.
Sitting amid the fresh look
that always seems to abound

at Roman 'Terrace, we enjoyed
a fine dinner served by per-
sonable and efficient Pam
Brie with her cute, dimpled
smile and rosette bowtie atop
a crisp-looking uniform and
tux shirt.
As usual, I got something
on my tie . . . But no fear, Pam
to the immediate rescue,
although I don't know where
she came from, asking as all
good waitresses on the ball do,
"Would you like some soda
water?" . . . And how . . .
because it seems to work
every time . . . This was no ex-
ception . . . Thanks to Pam,
the necktie I took out of the
cleaners that morning was
like new again.
She brought me a specialty
of the day, veal fungio, with
slices of strawberry on a bed
of red kale, alfalfa sprouts and
sauteed onions . . . The very
fine, obviously milk-fed
tender veal was topped by
chantrel, morel and button
mushrooms . . . giving it a
superb taste . . . No, not a
drop on the white tablecloth
or cloth napkin . . . just my
tie.
The employees at Roman
Terrace are choice . . . Terri
Stanley, very cordial evening
manager . . . Jo Jo Catalanot-
ti, evening hostess . . . Lyne
Appel, personable evening
barmaid so many people love
to have mix their drinks .. .
Robbie Peoples, evening bar-
maid 12 years at Roman Ter-
race . . . Judy Semelroth, day
barmaid also 12 years at
Roman Terrace . . . General
Manager Diane Risko, nine-
year vet much well-liked and
supervising all catering and
banquets . . . Myrtle DeMoss
and Colleen Matthews,
waitresses since Roman Ter-
race opened . . . Emily
McDonald, Bob's wife, helping
out at the cloak room . . . plus
other excellent employees
who have given Roman Ter-
race the look of happiness.
Debra Nelson, executive
chef, is a graduate of the
Culinary Institute of America
and oversees the preparation
of all lunch and dinner en-
trees . . . Matt Evans handles
kitchen chores as assistant
chef at nights.

Thm Altenburg is going on
11 years behind the piano in
the Roman 'Terrace lounge .. .
playing favorites of his many
followers . . . and those of
newcomers who continue to
return.
On Saturdays, Pam is
Roman Terrace's restaurant
and banquet manager during

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