CHRISTINI'S RESTAURANT: HOME OF THE LEGENDS
By MARSHALL SWANSON
Though many restaurants now operate at greater capacity following the partial opening of business, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to linger on without end but one restaurant in particular runs with an energizer-bunny like resilience. Christini's Ristorante Italiano's longevity over the years places the world famous restaurant in a special category all of its own: icon. How did such a restaurant last with so much success for so many years, you might ask? Hurricanes, fierce corporate competition, recession and now the COVID-19 pandemic present major obstacles to most business enterprises and restaurants. Christini's restaurant overcomes these challenges as a result of their high quality service and distinguished reputation. Many establishments do not live up to the hype. Christini's surpasses expectations.
Born to a poor Greco-Italian family in Sparta, Greece, like his ancestors, Chris Christini has always been a fighter. Immigrating to the United States, he worked his way up from the bottom as he trained in New York under restaurateur Joe Baum. His history prior to founding Christini's Ristorante Italiano includes being a veteran of such establishments as the 21 Club in New York, The Four Seasons and opening the original Italian Pavilion at EPCOT among many more great posts. In the early 1980s, development in Orlando boomed but wilderness still abounded in the meantime. This wilderness served as the launch pad for Christini's world famous restaurant. Chris Christini took a gamble that many believed would fail. Instead, his restaurant achieved heights thought to be impossible by most of his contemporaries. We at The Orlando Local News give his incredible establishment an A+.
With a history of four decades of fine dining in the Central Florida area, Christini's boasts of guests as varied as Mick Jagger, Pat Sajak, Rudy Guiliani and Gene Simmons. The late Arnold Palmer enjoyed a close friendship with owner Chris Christini and many local power players and socialites dine frequently in addition to the thousands of guests who flock to the restaurant from around the world. The vast array of awards won by Christini merely confirms this reputation of excellence, including the prestigious Ivy Award and the Restaurant Hall of Fame in the United States of America.
Of course many people also enjoy the classy and nostalgic atmosphere for special occasions as they dine to the serenade of a world renown accordionist over Christini's finest wine and some delicious veal or pasta. The Coronavirus pandemic may have brought this charming evening extravaganza to a brief pause in April, but the good news is you can still order Christini's for carry-out, or dine in the restaurant social distancing style. And while we may not be able to travel to Italy at the moment, we can bring home some of Italy's finest dishes, compliments of Mr. Christini.
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