According to our Yelp account, we’ve checked into Carlo’s Restaurant close to 15 times over the past few years. Since we live close, it’s our go-to spot for a quick slice of pizza or sit-down meal. On our last visit, we asked our server if we could interview Carlos himself and actually learned that the man behind the popular restaurant on Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers is Peter Servino. We reached out to him to learn more about him and the history behind the restaurant.
FP: We enjoy going to Carlo’s for either a quick slice or sit down for dinner. Tell us the history behind the restaurant.
PS: My father purchased Carlo’s in 1976 from his partner. He started working here in the late 50’s as a waiter. My sister and I started working here also at a young age. In 1982, I was about 12 years old doing things like peeling garlic and cleaning other vegetables. I started making salads (on weekends) soon after. From there I learned how to make pizza and eventually started to cook. One Friday evening in 1993, a friend of my father’s, who also owned a restaurant in the Bronx, called him because he had just lost one of his line cooks. He asked if we had an extra man he could employ through the weekend. My father sent me. I ended up staying there two and a half years. I learned alot from a famous chef that was running that kitchen, formally a chef of a famous little Italy restaurant called SPQR.
Eventually I became the chef at that Bronx restaurant, after my boss there sent me to other kitchens of other restaurants he owned to try and pick up techniques from other chefs. In 1996 my father wanted to start spending less time at Carlo’s, so I came back to work with him and implemented much of what I learned over the last few years in other restaurants.
FP: Great to learn about your background and how the business started! When you’re home, what are some of your favorite meals to prepare for yourself and family?
PS: When I’m home I like to cook pasta. Although it’s not my favorite food (I always preferred meat over pasta), I enjoy making different red sauces and experimenting with different sauces while coming up with new ideas for the menu. It is difficult to do that at work because there isn’t much downtime. We are always busy serving and preparing.
FP: Yes, we know Carlo’s Restaurant is a popular place! Where are some of your favorite places to eat in Westchester County?
PS: I really can’t say I have a favorite place in Westchester to eat. I am only off on Mondays and I like visiting a different restaurant each time we go out to see the new trends. I am also a partner in Gaucho Grill on North Broadway in White Plains, so I try and visit some restaurants in the area to see whats happening around us.
FP: What are some of your guilty pleasures. We call them foodie pleasures, hence the name 😉
PS: Some of my favorite foods are pizza of course. I am really excited about the new wood oven craze and I’m currently exploring a possible fast casual pizza concept. When I’m at a restaurant I am allways looking for scallops or Calamari Fradiavlo on the menu, although I don’t like fried calamari.
FP: As you know, we can always go for a good slice of pizza or delicious Italian entrees. When you’re not at the restaurant, what are your non-Carlo’s related interests and activities?
PS: When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and four children, doing anything! We are always running to someones game or practice.
FP: Thank you again for your time! We’re pretty sure we’ll see you soon at Carlo’s!