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Authentic Southern Italian Cuisine
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How Carlo Corteo Came to Carlino’s

As one of eleven children, Carlo Corteo learned early how important it was to please a crowd. Even with a houseful of hungry sons, his mother always managed to cook delicious dishes by making the most of the region’s native abundance. Tangy San Marzano tomatoes, tender veal, the freshest seafood and flavorful herbs conspired to make every family meal a feast. It was her wonderful cooking that formed the background for some of young Carlo’s happiest memories in the small Neapolitan town of Monte di Procida.

While the food and the people were wonderful at home, two of Carlo’s brothers felt the urge to go west and seek bigger opportunities in a larger city. They picked the largest one they could find in America: New York. In 1965, Umberto Corteo came to New Hyde Park and founded the original Umberto’s restaurant there. His brother Joe soon followed, and in 1970, they invited their youngest brother Carlo to come to America with them.

Carlo was used to hard work from his earliest years, but he worked doubly hard in his new home, studying at New Hyde Park Memorial High School during the day and working at the new restaurant with his brothers in the afternoons and evenings. He learned the importance of choosing the freshest ingredients and simmering sauces slowly along with his homework in algebra and English. Three years later, Carlo took over co-ownership of Umberto’s when older brother Joe took the brothers’ great Italian food heritage to Florida to open an Umberto’s there.

While he worked at Umberto’s, Carlo got to know everyone in the kitchen well. One chef’s creativity and passion for the finest ingredients made an impression on him. Chef Wali always seemed to have a knack for creating a special that really hit the spot or perfecting a great recipe to elevate it into a classic. After years of working alongside Wali in his brother Umberto’s restaurant, Carlo knew that the talented chef and his love of Italian food would be a tremendous asset to his own business one day.

Over the years, the Corteo brothers built restaurant after successful restaurant, all retaining the convivial charm of their family meals at home in Monte di Procida. Carlo felt that it was time to open a place of his own where he could combine the best of his family’s famous Italian cuisine with his own culinary creativity. He wanted a restaurant that showcased the gracious hospitality and warmth that his mother always showed to visitors; no matter how many guests she had to feed, she welcomed them like family.

That restaurant is Carlino’s, and it’s been a favorite in Long Island since the day that Carlo Corteo and Chef Wali opened their doors.

Recently voted the best Italian food and the best pizza in the Mineola, New Hyde Park and Garden City areas in the Patch Readers’ Choice Awards for 2012, Carlino’s continues its tradition of bringing the best in southern Italian food and hospitality to Long Island. The hard-working little brother from a small village outside of Naples has succeeded in bringing the best of his childhood home’s vivid flavors and lively cooking to New York.








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