Friday, April 30, 2010

Fior d'Italia Launches 125th Anniversary Year with Original Victorian Menu at Original Prices

Inside the Fior d'Italia restaurant today, it is May 1, 1886. And with veal, chicken, beef and pasta on the menu for no more than 30 cents, diners were wrapped around the side of the building by late morning like spaghetti around a fork!

The Fior is celebrating the launch of its 125th anniversary year by throwing open its doors to customers with a sample menu of its original dishes at the same Victorian prices.

Star diner was 104-year-old Bill Del Monte, youngest son of Angelo Del Monte, founder of The Fior. Bill was paraded down the street in a vintage Surrey accompanied by the Sheriff's Mounted Posse at 11 am. Accompanying him were family members and State Senator Mark Leno.

Alighting from the carriage, Senator Leno presented commemorative diplomas on behalf of the Senate to Bill and current owners, Bob and Jinx Larive. Bill's diploma was a delayed honour in appreciation of him being the sole attending survivor at the 1906 Great Earthquake and Fire ceremony two weeks ago.

Senator Leno said he had been unable to attend the ceremony at Lotta's Fountain due to being at a party conference.

He then congratulated them on the anniversary and the achievement of the Fior being the oldest continuously operating Italian restaurant in the USA.

With the prices on the menu today, he quipped, 'I would love to be able to roll back the State deficit to 1886!'

Paying tribute, he said, 'This is San Francisco and North Beach history,'  and the various owners were 'modern-day pioneers' who had endured many hardships including fires, earthquakes, depressions and recessions.

At the doors of the Fior, were the earliest arrivals who had wanted to make sure of their celebratory lunch.

First to arrive had been Michael at 8.45 am followed at around 9 am by Lin, Marianne and their friend, Michael, joined later by Richard.

What had brought Michael so enthusiastically to the door? 'The prices!' he said, waving a print-out of the menu. His choice was the veal.

Lin said she was there 'Just for the festivities. It's going to be a fun day,' and Marianne had made it because her neighbour had slipped an article about the party under her door. They were opting for the Veal Saute or the Eggplant Parmigiana, and Michael, the Tortellini with Meat Sauce.

Richard, who was after the Roast Sirloin, appreciated the reputation of the Fior.  'I've always known this restaurant, it's been here for years.' he said. But at the forefront of all their minds was 'It's the prices!'

Pic: Richard, Michael, Lin, Marianne and, first to arrive, Michael.

No comments: