ANTONE'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Where: 6487 Brockton Avenue, Riverside
Founded: 1965 by Anthony and Mary Verani
Owners since 2008:Rosanne Verani and her husband, Kurt Brungardt
Hours: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Right up until her recent death at 90, Josephine Scarano wouldn’t touch the meatballs at any Riverside restaurant except one: Antone’s.
Antone’s Italian Food is testament to the family-owned, beloved bistro that’s been a fixture since the late Anthony “Tony” and Mary Verani opened it in 1965. Their daughter, Rosanne Verani and her husband, Kurt Brungardt, who took over seven years ago, are planning a 50th anniversary celebration next month.
Longtime customers say that nostalgia, the homey vibe and the good odds of bumping into the “old Riverside” habitués are as much draws as the homemade bread, from-scratch sauces and the famed meatball sub and the Italian coldcut and cheese grinder known as the Mafia.
“There are layers of time in that place,” said Josephine Scarano’s daughter, Kathryn Scarano, an Antone’s regular since 1980. “Like Mary and Tony, Rosanne and Kurt know you and your family. They’d let 18 or 20 of us have a table in the back and bring in our own cakes.”
Whenever Scarano thinks of Antone’s, the memories evoke the toast spoken by George and Mary Bailey in the Frank Capra film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”: “Bread, that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”