It was my dream to own and operate a restaurant. In March of 1992, Calabria’s Restaurant opened in Castle Shannon on Grove Road. My entire family helped to make my dream come true. My wife’s father, the late Executive Chef Russell Ebert, came out of retirement to get us started. A neighbor of his and very close family friend, Mario Ionni, retired chef from the LaMont Restaurant in Mt. Washington, also came out of retirement and was happy to be back in a restaurant kitchen. We were really a family restaurant. My father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, wife, and sons all helped to make our restaurant a success.
After about three and a half years, we outgrew our location and purchased the old Mama Lena’s restaurant on Library Road. After a year and a half of renovation we moved to the new location. Most of the renovation was done by friends and family. The beautiful hand made walnut bar was from rough cut wood of a relative’s farm. The original Mama Lena’s, a take out restaurant on the corner, was remodeled and now is an elegant banquet room that accommodates up to 75 guests.
Our oldest son Michael came out of college and work with his grandfather for several years until he was ready to take control. Michael’s work ethics and his love for preparing foods the old fashion way would surely bring a smile of approval to his grandfather. His recipes remain in our kitchen for all of our cooks to follow.
Our youngest son, David who from the age of five watched his grandfather in the prep-kitchen making soups, would imitate his grandfather and make something for him to taste, has also continued the cooking tradition with his older brother Michael. Our other two sons worked in the restaurant while in college and until they got their jobs in their relative fields. However, they will still pitch in when we are in need of extra help.
At Calabria’s it starts from the eye contact when you walk in our doors. We want you to feel like you are a guest in our home. My wife and I will welcome you and your family or guests and assure you that your experience at Calabria’s will be an enjoyable one.
At your table, our friendly servers will greet you and inform you of our wines, cocktails, selection of beers, and other specialties along with our delicious appetizers. And then, so many delicious entrees, all prepared to order, from Pastas, Italian Specialties, Beef, Chicken, Seafood, or Veal, you choose. After dinner, relax with a special coffee or an after dinner drink and one of our many home made desserts. I am sure you and your family or guests will have truly enjoyed the experience of dining at Calabria’s. As we have for many years, our family is deeply appreciative of the loyal patronage. To us the greatest compliment is a return visit from a guest.
Dave Calabria and Family