On the covers of the original menus that we used for many years had biographical trivia of some of the prominent Italian people that made contributions to America. One of them was Arturo Toscanini. We listed him as the manager of The Metropolitan Opera House. Well on July 3, 1977 his grandson Walfredo Toscanini came in for lunch. Reading the error on our menu he wrote a long explanation in Italian on one of our placemats of the correction that needed to be made about his grandfather Arturo Toscanini (March 25, 1867 – January 16, 1957). In fact he further explained that Arturo was Direttore Artistico (artistic manager, conductor) of the Metropolitan Opera House and the Direttore (manager) was another Italian Giulio Gatti-Casazza (February 3, 1869 – September 2, 1940)
Walfredo also added that he and his wife were passing through Poughkeepsie and wanted to stop and eat a good meal. They were thoroughly satisfied with their meal of Stuffed Shrimp and Shrimp in a Marsala wine sauce. And he finished his letter with saying that if we wanted to open up a restaurant in New Rochelle to call him because he would gladly help us.
Here’s a little background information on Walfredo Toscanini:
Walfredo Toscanini was born in Milano, Italy and moved to the United States with his family in 1938. He attended most of the NBC Orchestra concerts conducted by his grandfather, Arturo Toscanini, and traveled across the USA with the 1950 Tour. He graduated from Yale College in 1952, and received a Master of Architecture from Yale University in 1955. In the private practice of architecture, Mr. Toscanini was particularly interested in spaces for the performing arts and acoustics. He worked for the Facilities Development Corporation of New York State administering the program for Group Homes for the Developmentally Disabled, and for the N.Y.S. Urban Development Corporation in preserving and enhancing the economic base of the state. He served as City Councilman in the City of New Rochelle from 1973 to 1977 and has been active in the Democratic Party in Westchester County.
Stay tuned for some more interesting stories of people that we have met at Coppola’s Restaurant during our 50 years in business. Hmmmm… I wonder… a restaurant in New Rochelle…