In 1894, Peter’s great grandmother Anna Savino opened a small Italian restaurant on York Street, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard District. That’s when the Della Rocca tradition of serving delicious Italian food began.
The business moved to Navy Street in 1910. Anna’s daughter Rachella and her husband Pietro became the proprietors. The family then ventured to Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island, where they opened Pete’s Restaurant at Myrtle and Carlton Avenues in 1940.
Shortly after, the third generation of the Della Rocca family, brothers Dominick and Alphonse, returned home from World War II and consolidated the family business. Pete’s Restaurant soon became a distinguished landmark for excellence in Italian cuisine.
In 1970, Dominick and Alphonse opened Della Rocca’s in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The restaurant was on Shore Road and featured spacious facilities for catering as well as dining. It also happened to be where Peter grew up, participating in the family business started by his great grandmother. He learned all aspects of being a being a restaurateur and developed a great passion for the culinary arts.
A fourth-generation chef, Peter went on to start two restaurants of his own. Located in Somerville, New Jersey, TuFoli opened in May of 1993, followed by Allegro-Tu in November of 1997. The cuisine earned him excellent reviews from The York Times as well as a Zagat Survey rating for the finest new restaurant.
In 1999, Peter and his wife Maria moved down to Naples, Florida when a friend was opening an Italian restaurant and needed an Executive Chef to run it. They had been looking for a change, and living in paradise seemed like the perfect opportunity.
While that particular venture was short lived, it led to Peter joining Tre Amici Ristorante as Executive Chef, creating and executing the menu for five years. Eventually, however, his family roots, upbringing and culinary passion inspired him once more to extend the Della Rocca tradition.
In 2006, Peter opened the still-operating Peter’s Cuisine Catering Service. Then in 2011, Parmesan Pete’s launched in Bonita Springs as a take-out establishment. It didn’t take long to realize Anna Savino’s touch was making quite an impression in Southwest Florida. So the following year, Parmesan Pete’s opened in Naples as a full-service restaurant.
Pete and Maria have two daughters, one of whom works right here in the restaurant. Their oldest granddaughter also helps out occasionally. Along with the cuisine, that’s the best part – seeing the past, present and future come together in such a welcoming atmosphere.