I learned the proper way to set a table at Angelina’s Restaurant before I knew my ABCs.

The restaurant was established at 41 Greenwich Avenue between Perry and Charles Streets in NYC in 1936, where  it remained, owned and operated by my mother’s family for more than fifty years.

Angelina Morra, the namesake, was my great grandmother. She was an orphan and illiterate who came to America fromPiedmont, Italy in the early 1900’s, like so many other European immigrants in search of a better life. According to family folklore, she worked fourteen-hour days first as a scrubwoman,