By Joe Liesman
Having spent 20 years managing italian restaurants and steakhouses in New York City and Westchester, restaurateur Tony Lala has opened an Italian Steakhouse on Pelham’s 5th Ave.
The restaurant, Macelleria, which means “butcher shop” in italian, is a classic Italian restaurant with an American twist.
“Our menu features classic italian dishes, as well as dry aged steaks,” said Mr. Lala. “The menu we’ve created is built from the signature and favorite dishes from restaurants I’ve managed, so it’s all food I know people love.”
A self described “meat master,” Mr. Lala dry ages all of the steaks himself.
Joining Mr. Lala is Chef Joe Fusco, who has worked with Mr. Lala for 15 years, and has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality business. Other partners include Tony’s brother Johnny Shotaj, who will be aiding in management, and Bachi Byberi, a contractor and investor in the restaurant.
Prior to opening Macelleria, Mr. Lala worked managerial roles at Nino’s in Manhattan, NYC- and Westchester-based Benjamin Steakhouse, and owned Katonah Woods, a well regarded farmhouse tavern in Katonah.
“We chose to move to Pelham because it is closer to where we live,” said Mr. Lala. “But we also know Pelham, and what people are looking for.”
“The concept was to bring the city experience to Pelham. We are very reasonable with the prices, so I want people to come in 7 days a week. We want families think, ’instead of cooking at home, let’s go to Macelleria and have a nice bowl of pasta or a burger or a steak.”’
Mr. Lala hopes that people will see that they don’t have to go far or into the city for a fine dining experience.
“You don’t have to go to Peter Luger’s anymore - come to Macelleria,” he said.
After signing the lease in February, renovation began in March. The restaurant, which is currently in a soft opening phase, is open seven days a week from 12pm-10pm, and features 25 tables and a full bar.
“People can come in and order a full meal at the bar or just have a cold beer,” said Mr. Lala.
Macelleria also has a mixologist who comes in once or twice a week to create specialty seasonal cocktails.
Macelleria is conducting a soft opening to make sure that everything will run smoothly upon their official launch.
“When you do soft openings people give you more time and a chance if something goes wrong to fix any errors. If you open soft people come and you can talk to them and hear what’s good and bad. So far, the feedback has been excellent and really amazing,” said Mr. Lala.
Macelleria, located at 142 5th Ave, formerly the location of Jordan Hall and Bistro Rollin, officially opens on July 19th. It will be celebrating the opening from 6-9pm on the 19th, serving drinks and hors d'oeuvre on the house.
“We want to be a part of the Pelham family, and we are very excited and happy to be here,” said Mr. Lala.