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2019-04-10 / Front Page

New Restaurant To Open Soon On Main Street in Stamford

By Rosie Cunningham


A pasta dish created by James Lisanti. Contributed Photo A pasta dish created by James Lisanti. Contributed Photo STAMFORD - The doors of a new American-style cuisine restaurant are slated to open May 1 at 60 Main Street in Stamford - formerly known as Gabrielle’s.

“When I was younger, my aunts in Brooklyn used to put an apron on me and call me Chef Boyardi,” said owner James Lisanti.

On April 1, leasing the restaurant was approved by real estate agent George Bergleitner.

For Lisanti, it seems owning restaurants is a bit of a family tradition: Forsum Steak Pub was owned by his uncle, John

Makrinos, Frank’s Italian

Cafe, Frank’s Luncheonette and a restaurant called “My

Chef” owned by “Grandfather Frank.” The Great in

Pasta by Lisanti’s uncle, Vinny Asaro and Butterfingers, owned by his uncle, Robert

Baccio. All five of the businesses were in Long Island and the five boroughs.


James Lisanti stands on the steps of the 60 Main Street location. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter James Lisanti stands on the steps of the 60 Main Street location. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter “I am trying to do something other than Italian for this areas,” he said. “I am trying to do affordable comfort food and have nice specials.”

Lisanti has worked at Vasta’s Italian Deli and Bistro in Stamford for two years, Mama Maria’s in Harpersfield for two years and Blenheim Hill, a catering company, for six months. He is the oldest of six and grew up cooking for his younger siblings.

The 24 year-old said he never thought he’d be a cook.

“I got a job working at Sal’s in Oneonta through my cousin as a delivery guy and the second I walked in there, I knew it was what I wanted to do,” he said. “When I left there, I went to Mama Maria’s and learned a lot and a little more when I went to Vasta’s. I learned how to cater at Blenheim Hill and thought, ‘I am ready.’”


A burger prepared by chef James Lisanti, who intends to have a menu which will consist of comfort food. Contributed Photo A burger prepared by chef James Lisanti, who intends to have a menu which will consist of comfort food. Contributed Photo He said the first dish he created was Alfredo - he looked up the recipe one night after working for Sal’s.

Lisanti was born in West Babylon and graduated from Stamford Central School in 2012 - he credits his mother Nora and his family for supporting him.

It’s been quite the year for Lisanti as this is the second time this year he has established a business. This comes as no surprise as he opted out of Spanish in high school and college to take business classes.

An Italian company, Alive- Shoes, allows creative individuals all over the world the professional resources to design their own custom shoes and launch a shoe line from scratch. He pitched his line, “Lisanti’s” and reached the pre-order goal, so AliveSHoes picked up his design. His handmade shoes will be featured in editorial magazines.

Currently, Lisanti is giving the restaurant a face lift. The bar will be open as well and he said he hopes to set up a DJ booth and have music once a month. He plans to employ 10 to 15 and is still taking applications.

“I am excited but nervous - I’ve never been able to do what I really want to do,” he said.

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