Umberto Corteo learned the definition of hard work very early in life. Born in a rustic village on the outskirts of war torn Naples, Umberto worked the fields of his father’s farm to help feed his family of 13. The seventh son of eleven children he quickly learned to make the best of what little he had and gained an abundant appreciation for the simple gifts nature provided.
Like many European people of his generation Umberto learned of the promise of America and yearned for a better life, so while still a teenager he and four of his brothers and sisters made the long journey to the United States and settled in Brooklyn.
Working in hot kitchens for very little money Umberto saved every dollar he could to send to his mother and father in Italy and put a small amount away with hope that one day he would start a business of his own.
Determined to live the American dream, Umberto and his younger brother Joe scraped together all of their hard earned money and in 1965 Original Umberto’s of New Hyde Park was born. With little space and no means to spread the word of his new restaurant Umberto set out to do one thing better than all others, offer the finest quality, authentic Italian food available with the belief that in time people would recognize Original Umberto’s of New Hyde Park as the best.
In 1970, youngest brother Carlo Corteo came to America to work with his brothers Umberto and Joe. While Carlo learned English and attended New Hyde Park Memorial High School, he worked at the restaurant after school and on weekends. After graduating high school in 1973, Carlo’s brother Joe moved on carrying with him the quality and authenticity of Original Umberto’s to Florida, and Carlo assumed his position at Umberto’s. The family’s good fortune continued to spread and with time Angoletto’s Restaurant, Roma Pizzeria, Gino’s Pizzeria, Carlino’s Pizzeria, and Umberto’s Restaurant and Pizzeria of Wantagh were opened. In Carlo’s newest restaurant and pizzeria in Wantagh, its serene Tuscan atmosphere along with the finest of foods takes you back to Old World Italy.
41 years later Original Umbertos is a landmark. The first cozy pizzeria has grown into a majestic Tuscan architectural two-story restaurant with a full service cafe, four star dining room, and world-class banquet facilities and Original Umberto’s is known nationwide by tens of thousands of guests who visit each year.
Through dedication and hard work, Umberto and Carlo have made Umberto’s what it is today, and hope to carry on the family tradition for many generations to come.