Mr. and Mrs. Francesco Giambelli
There is a saying “Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread: remade all the time, made new.” Tonight’s honorees, Francesco and Mary Giambelli, have leamed a great deal from their experience as successful restaurateurs, from preparing food and serving for others, and from making people feel at home. In their lives, over and over again, the Giambellis have shown the lesson oflove and caring for
other,. most recently as demonstrated )’ ir extraorinary generosity to St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan.
Francesco Giambelli was bom in 1915 in Voghera, outside Milan, ltaly. Across the ocean in America, in Brooklyn, New York, Mary Anzalone was bom one year later. Francesco started working at restaurants at the age of ten and worked in various hotels in bis hometown as a waiter until he was 17. He then went to Milan to the famed Savini’ s Ristorante where he worked in various restaurants in the cities of Rome and Siena. Mary meanwhile pursued her education in the New York City school system. She would go on to become a secretary, and eventually an associate designer in the women’s wear field in NewYork.
In 1937, Francesco went to Leipzig, Germany to work in restaurant industry. With little formal education, he soon learned to speak German. Through other jobs in Monte Carla, France and England, he learned to speak French and English as well. In 1949, with all of the experience he had acquired by working in various restaurants in different countries, Francesco retumed to bis hometown of Voghera and opened bis own restaurant. It quickly grew into a successful operation, and in 1954 he sold it to immigrate to America, and come to New York.
Francesco and Mary met one year later, marking the beginning of a remarkable personal and professional partnership that lasts to this day. In 1956, Francesco opened Giambelli’s Ristorante on Madison Avenue and 3?1h Street in New York. In 1960, Francesco sold that location, and opened Giambelli’s 50th Ristorante at it present location in midtown Manhattan, close by St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Over the years, Giambelli ‘s 50th has served many distinguished personalities, including presidants of the United States and other cQuntries. It clientele has included kings, queens and other royalty, theatrical and motion picture celebrities, politicians and business executives. While ali have long enjoyed the exquisite cuisine and fine wines served by the Giambellis, the secret to their success appears to lie in the incredibly warm and welcoming atmosphere they extend to each and every visitor who comes in. As those who have had the good fortune to experience it can attest, this comes from no other motive than a sincere and genuine concem for others.
One ofthe highlights for the Giambellis carne during Pope John Paul II’s historie trip to New York in October 1995. They generously hosted and had the privilege of serving the