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No Cooking For Mom This Sunday!

It’s Dinner All Day at La Parma on the Bay

“Early Sunday mornings, I remember my grandmother and my mother making those meatballs in the red sauce — they called it Sunday sauce.  By the end of the day, there would be hardly any meatballs left in the pan because nobody in the family could stop eating them,” recalls one of La Parma on the Bay’s owners, Tony Gralto.  He and partner Dominick Gregorio, in business since 1984, both have ancestry from southern Italy, so Mother’s Day is a fond occasion for them to watch other local families enjoying the family-style meals they grew up on.

Cold and hot antipasto, rigatoni a la vodka made with a touch of crème and a little prosciutto, steak pizzaiola in a red sauce with mushrooms and peppers, chicken and veal parmesan, lasagna — all popular favorites among the crowds that fill up the room fast at this Italian Ristorante. “For appetizers, people love our hot antipasto that consists of baked clams, fried calamari, stuffed mushrooms, and shrimp oregonata; it feeds four,” said Jerald Gralto, manager and son of owner Tony Gralto.

Gralto said that back in Italy, eating was like an “all-day event for the entire family and that’s how the family-style dining concept got started.” Gregorio is originally from a town in Italy called Avalino, where his grandmother did all the cooking. Eventually, they all moved to America and kept the tradition going for many years. Gralto and Gregorio met in the late ’70s at a restaurant called Don Pepe’s in Ozone Park — perhaps the inspiration for opening up their very own family-style restaurant.  In 1984, the first and original La Parma opened on Willis Avenue in Williston Park, N.Y.

The fourth La Parma on the Island, the Port Washington location, brings in the busiest crowd during the warmer months. Spring and summer are their bustling seasons, beginning with Mother’s Day and then Memorial Day. Traffic comes in from the many water taxis and private boats that dock nearby. “We didn’t even need to advertise the first couple of years,” said manager Gralto. Mother’s Day reservations were three-quarters of the way booked by last week. There will be three seating times:  1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. Regular off-the-menu ordering will be available with special pre-fixed menus for larger parties of 20 or more.  

“It’s always Sunday at La Parma on the Bay,” says Gralto. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 516-439-4960.

News

Gould A. ‘Stretch’ Ryder III, accomplished sailor, pilot, businessman, civic leader, and steward of the beautiful waterfront of Port Washington, passed away Oct. 24 at The Amsterdam at Harborside Hospice Center in Port Washington.

Stretch, as he was known to all, was well known as part of the crew on Ted Turner’s “Courageous” when it won the America’s Cup in 1977. Turner stayed in touch and visited Stretch last week.

Stretch’s life was marked by numerous personal contributions and accomplishments.

Parents concerned about classroom sizes spoke up at the Port Washington Board of Education meeting, as the board passed an approval of the larger sizes.

Parents spoke of class sizes at the district’s elementary being in the mid 20s, an amount they felt compromised the quality of their children’s education.

“The board of education changed our children’s education for the worse,” said one mother of larger average class sizes the board had approved last year. The comment drew clapping from the audience.


Sports

The Port Washington Soccer Club has presented Schreiber High School graduate and captain of the Port Washington Blue Knights, Cameron Boroumand, with the annual $1,000 Joe Cohen Scholarship.

The award, which has been presented annually for over 10 years, was established by the Port Washington Soccer Club to honor Joseph Cohen, a gifted athlete who attended college on a soccer scholarship. He went on to achieve outstanding success, first academically, and then in his professional life.  He gave his time fully and with great heart to innumerable charitable endeavors.

The tough and talented Port Washington volleyball team defeated Hicksville at an away game this past Friday in all three sets.

With strong returning players who also play on club teams year round, the Port Washington team plays with a certain level of chemistry. Megan Murphy and Kelly Nardone led the way with 12 assists and Mia Walker had six kills.


Calendar

Schreiber Symphony Orchestra - November 6

Port Summer Show - November 6

Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington Meeting - November 7


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com