A Summer At Tiso's Trattoria

My Great Grandma Tiso came up from New York City 50 years ago and opened an Italian trattoria outside of Woodstock, New York. Trattorias are small Italian family restaurants common in Italy. Great Grandma Tiso named the business after our family – Tiso’s. My Grandfather, whom I call Poppie, moved up from New York City when my father was born and took over the restaurant from his parents. He continued to create an Italian atmosphere filled with family and great food! My father grew up working in the restaurant learning its ins and outs. From flipping pizzas to taking orders, he and his brother, my Uncle Michael, learned the authentic Italian recipes; recipes which have been passed down in secret. When I was growing up, my father would bring my brother and I down to the restaurant to help out, and be around Italian cooking and the strong Italian atmosphere the family trattoria is known for.

As I grew up helping out in the restaurant, I learned a lot about the importance of family, a strong work ethic, and the working of a business. Not only was it “cool” to have grandparents who owned a restaurant but also it was a unique experience that came with many memories I will treasure forever! Every recipe that on the menu is unique to someone who created it. For example, my great grandmother’s secret blue cheese dressing is amazing, and Poppie serves a dish called Scampi Tiso. Everything is made from fresh supplies that Poppie handpicks every week. Poppie is the chef; he makes every dish that comes out of the kitchen. Grandma runs the dining room and, in the summers, we help in the restaurant - I waitresses and my brother busses. My Uncle Chuck is the bartender and My Aunt Pam designs the menus and advertises. My Great Grandmother, who is 96, still lives upstairs.  I went from greeter, to bus girl to waitress. Today Tiso’s is only open 5-9 Friday/Saturday and 4-8 on Sundays. This year, Grandma and Poppie made the decision to retire and close the restaurant. Tiso’s has been in action 50 years, so it seemed best to end on a high note!

This summer I have been waitressing on weekends. I love going to my grandparent’s restaurant and helping out on the weekends! Being around family is awesome; there is always something to do and something going on! It’s also nice having the regulars that come in every weekend. My grandparent’s restaurant is their social life. It’s not just a restaurant where you come get food, it’s a place to come and be immersed in family. Everyone is family whether you’re Italian or not!

I look forward to finishing out June and July at my grandparent’s restaurant! It will be sad coming back next year and the restaurant being closed. However, it has been an amazing opportunity filled with many memories and secret recipes to practice so I can hand them down to my children and keep them in the family! I hope you all are having a wonderful summer!
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