NAUGATUCK — An Italian restaurant long known as one of the best kept secrets for area foodies has closed its doors.
Anna Donte Italian Restaurant at 384 North Main St. in the Union City section has closed after 15 years. The restaurant was known for its homemade ravioli dishes and ravioli that it sold in stores throughout the borough.
Owner Donna Grillo said she had recently become ill and couldn’t devote the time she wanted to the restaurant. She was also looking to retire, she said.
She said other factors contributed to the closing, as well, including a poor parking situation near the restaurant that caused Grillo headaches, and uncertainty about the future because the building where the restaurant was located is for sale.
Grillo said she will not look to sell the business to anyone, and has no plans to open in another location. She also will no longer sell frozen raviolis, pasta sauce or salad dressing.
The business which she named after her mother, a great cook in her own right, is closed for good.
“I loved meeting the customers, and I made a lot of friends over the years,” she said. “I want to thank the people who supported Anna Donte throughout the years.”
Two of the biggest supporters were husband and wife Al and Kristi Pistarelli. Al Pistarelli, the former aide to former Mayor Michael Bronko, said they used to eat at the restaurant almost every weekend and sometimes more than once a week.
Like others, the Pistarellis would sometimes bring their own bottle of wine to share over a meal. The package store next to the restaurant made it convenient for people who wanted an alcoholic drink with dinner.
“It was excellent food and a wonderful place,” Al Pistarelli said. “We will miss it for sure.”