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Our History

Welcome to Tanino (Ta née no) Ristorante Italiano. First off, let me explain the name. My formal name is Gaetano. There are two variations to the nickname Gaetano. One is Guy, and the other is Tano. I already had a cousin nicknamed Guy, so my parents called me Tano. When I was a baby, little Tano is Tanino. This is the name my mother still calls me today. Now, when my family, including my cousin Gaetano, came to America in 1964 at the age of 16, I kept the nickname Tano and my cousin kept the name Guy. Because I could not speak English when I came here, my classmates at EFA asked me my name, I told them Tano. They are actually the ones that changed it to Tony. So that is why I am known as Tony instead of Guy.

Now for the restaurant part. Creating this restaurant has been my biggest dream, along with my biggest challenge. When I came here, my first job was making pizza at the old Mustico's Restaurant on North Main Street in Elmira. I saw the operations of running a neighborhood restaurant and the camaraderie that went along with it. This is what I wanted to create. Not knowing what owning a restaurant entailed, I went into it blindly and learned more than I ever thought I could. I am still learning and probably will never stop. I hope that you are here as a friend and are willing to share your ideas and thoughts.

I decided to open Tanino's because I know what good food should taste like. Living in Italy and traveling all over the world with my wife Maurina, we have seen the best there is to offer. We still go to my parents, Joe and Grace's house on Magee Street every Sunday and enjoy the food I was brought up on in Italy. I hope that we teach our chefs how to create the same tastes that we have enjoyed. I also hope to create a home-like atmosphere in my restaurant. For those who know me, they enjoy three things; great food, good friends and good conversations. I want people to come in and feel like they are eating in their own dining room, enjoying good food with their friends and family. If I have created what I think I have, everyone should be comfortable in joining in on sparkling conversations, or relaxing with a glass of wine by the fireplace, just like you would at home.

Thank you for coming to Tanino's and being part of our family.