Creativity On The Plate – And On The Web

 Luigi Petrone shows off the ravioli creation of the day in Tutto Pazzo’s pasta room last week.

Luigi Petrone shows off the ravioli creation of the day in Tutto Pazzo’s pasta room last week.

When life hands you lemons, most people say to turn it into lemonade. Tutto Pazzo chef/co-owner Luigi Petrone did just that – when he was laid out for five months recovering from bariatric surgery, he learned the ropes of social media.

After being diagnosed with diabetes, Luigi went under the knife last January. While he was recuperating, he took courses in social media during the downtime. When he returned, he put that savvy to work; a faux “weather alert” during the blizzard of 2015 was a viral hit and ended up with 400 people dining at Tutto Pazzo in the middle of a blizzard. There’s plenty of people who watch Luigi’s turns at the poker table, too, as well as countless food updates and cuisine-in-process footage.

“We’re up 30 percent on the worst winter we’ve ever had,” he said.

It’s for the good of his business – and himself.

“I’m the chef, and I can’t eat anymore,” he said. “So my new drug is playing with my computer all day long, taking videos and creation.”

 Thursday steak night has been one of many popular draws to Tutto Pazzo.

Thursday steak night has been one of many popular draws to Tutto Pazzo.

Each with decades of experience under their belts, brothers Luigi and Joseph Petrone took over the sprawling space in 1991 and opened Tutto Pazzo a year later. Luigi commands the kitchen, while Joseph handles the front of the house. There are 200 seats indoors, as well as a 280-seat outdoor patio which, at long last, will be getting ample springtime use, we’re sure.

Walk in to the front door and your eye will be drawn to the grand bar at the center of the floor; do-it-yourself Foodies will equally get a kick out of the fresh fish counter and Mediterranean-style display of appetizers, desserts and meats. To the right side of the open kitchen is the famous pasta factory where all of Tutto Pazzo’s homemade pasta is made for dining at home and in the restaurant. Their signature pasta is a homemade ravioli “twister” Caramelle ravioli, which sort of looks like a delightful wrapped candy, except it’s a savory morsel of ravioli.

This is the latest iteration of Tutto Pazzo, which Luigi said has gone through several major renovations. The most recent was a result of a fire in 2005; the restaurant was closed for nine months before reopening, boasting its current Tuscan design and earth tones.

As prime time for outdoor dining approaches, Tutto Pazzo is gearing up to introduce yet another new concept – The Stoop Clam Bar. Luigi says The Stoop will offer grab-and-go quick bites for sale along New York Avenue; everything, including scrumptious Littleneck Clams (6) and sliders, will be $4.95 or less.

This joins other popular Tutto Pazzo promos including Vino & Meatballs Tuesday, Thursday night steak nights, and an increasing number of gluten-free and vegetarian offerings. At every corner you turn, there’s something for you to enjoy at Tutto Pazzo, and if you’re at a loss for ideas, just check Facebook – Luigi will be sure to fill you in.