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Success D ining
Perricone’s has been serving homestyle Italian cuisine in the heart of Brickell long before the neighborhood
became a household name. This month, the restaurant celebrates its 20th anniversary — but don’t expect
velvet rope parties and fancy invites to commemorate the occasion…this is the kind of place where ordering
the usual will never disappoint.
TEX T BY JORGE AR AUZ | PHOTOS BY LYNN PARKS
Ever tried the Baked Brie appetizer or World-Famous Chicken Salad
at Perricone’s? Or been lucky enough to experience their Daily
Happy Hour, 2 For Tuesday, Pasta Thursday or Sunday Brunch? Most
likely, you’ve indulged in all of the above more times than you can
remember. In fact, some regulars plan their whole week around
it. Local attorneys Alex Solomiany and Mark Kaire, for example,
have eaten lunch at Perricone’s every day, Mon-Fri, for the past 10
years. “I can’t begin to tell you what that means to me,” says owner
Steven Perricone. It all started in 1996 when not much of anything
was going on in the neighborhood. “I was bullish on Brickell when I
decided to open, but even the most optimistic projections couldn’t
have predicted what the neighborhood has become,” he says. “At
the beginning, everyone thought I was crazy — friends warned me
that I would lose my shirt on this venture…in my heart, I knew they
were wrong.” The interiors of the main dining room and marketplace
were constructed from the wood of a barn from Vermont (circa
1700) that was dismantled and transported on a trio of trucks.
“Many people ask what the key is to our longevity,” he says. “I tell
them it’s knowing who we are as a restaurant. We serve the kind of
Italian comfort food that never goes out of style.”; Perricones.com.
34 DID YOU KNOW?
1. Perricone’s has served over 3 million+ meals since
opening its doors and today employs more than 140 people,
many of whom have been there since the beginning.
2. Steven Perricone’s mother, Genevieve, and grandmother,
Jennie, taught two of the chefs at the restaurant their
family recipes for sauce, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana and
meatballs. Both chefs are still there and the dishes remain
exactly the same.
3. People once named Steven Perricone one of the country’s
most eligible bachelors in a feature called “America’s Most
Wanted.” He’s now married, as are the Top 3 on that list:
George Clooney, Matt Damon and Derek Jeter.
4. Although there aren’t plans to open a Perricone’s 2,
Steven is a proud partner in the forthcoming Sullivan Street
Bakery, just west of Soyka. “New projects keep me from
resting on my laurels!”