My Posts

The Grandmother Restaurant, Where Love is Served on a Plate

By Albulena Murturi


25 March 2024

Grandmother restaurant

©️ Enoteca Maria / Facebook

In the heart of Staten Island, New York, there is a culinary gem unlike any other. Enoteca Maria isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a celebration of culture, tradition, and the timeless art of grandmother’s cooking. What makes this place truly special? It’s the grandmothers themselves who take center stage in the kitchen.

The Grandmother Restaurant

Jody Scaravella, the visionary behind Enoteca Maria, embarked on a unique mission after experiencing personal loss. Inspired by the comforting presence of grandmothers, he decided to create a space where their culinary wisdom could shine. Thus, Enoteca Maria became the home of an extraordinary concept: employing grandmothers from diverse backgrounds to showcase their traditional recipes.

Grandmother restaurant
©️ Enoteca Maria / Facebook

Originally focusing on Italian nonnas, Enoteca Maria quickly expanded its roster to include grandmothers from all corners of the globe. From Sri Lanka to Japan, Russia to Colombia, and Armenia to the Philippines, these grandmothers bring a wealth of flavors and stories to the table. Today, the restaurant boasts a rotating cast of 30 to 40 grandmothers, each adding their unique touch to the menu.

Walking into Enoteca Maria, you’re greeted not only by the aroma of delicious food but also by a palpable sense of warmth and nostalgia. Customers find themselves transported down memory lane, reminiscing about their own grandmothers’ kitchens. The atmosphere is lively, with the energy of the grandmothers infusing every corner of the restaurant.

Grandmother restaurant
©️ Enoteca Maria / Facebook

What sets Enoteca Maria apart isn’t just the food; it’s the sense of community and connection fostered within its walls. These grandmothers aren’t just chefs—they are teachers, storytellers, and cultural ambassadors. Beyond serving delicious meals, they offer free cooking classes, sharing their culinary secrets with eager learners.

As International Women’s Day approaches, Enoteca Maria stands as a testament to the resilience and strength of women. Through their hard work and dedication, these grandmothers inspire not only those who dine at the restaurant but also the generations to come.

©️ Enoteca Maria / Facebook

Donna Farizan, of TODAY, recently visited Enoteca Maria to experience firsthand the magic of these grandmothers’ cooking. From lasagna to meatballs, rabbit to fish, each dish tells a story of tradition and love. Donna spoke with grandmothers from Azerbaijan, Italy, and Sri Lanka, learning about their experiences and the joy they find in serving others.

Empowering Women Through Cooking

For Jody Scaravella, Enoteca Maria is more than just a business venture—it’s a tribute to his heritage and the women who shaped his life. Named in honor of his mother Maria, the restaurant embodies her spirit of love and generosity.

Grandmother restaurant
©️ Enoteca Maria / Facebook

The grandmothers of Enoteca Maria may come from different countries and backgrounds, but they share a common bond—a passion for cooking and a desire to spread joy through food. With every meal they serve, they carry on a legacy of love that transcends borders and generations.

So, the next time you find yourself craving a taste of home, why not pay a visit to Enoteca Maria? You’ll not only savor delicious food but also experience the warmth and hospitality of grandmothers from around the world. After all, as the saying goes, nobody cooks quite like grandma.

Would you wanna eat there? Tell us in the comments.

You may also like: Grandmother Cycles 1,000 Miles For This Sad Reason

Albulena Murturi

An enthusiastic learner rediscovering the joy of writing.