Leo Anticoli is reaching into his family’s iconic history to create a special menu commemorating his family’s 83rd anniversary of owning a restaurant in the Dayton area.
Anticoli — who turns 80 this week — has renamed the restaurant that he and his son Chris launched in 2011 at 67. S. Main St. in downtown Miamisburg “Anticoli’s Giuliano Tavern,” re-establishing the family surname up front. The eatery was founded as “Giuliano, an Anticoli Tavern,” with the Giuliano a reference to his father’s Italian hometown.
The Anticoli name resonates with a significant proportion of Miami Valley residents who dined and celebrated special family events at Anticoli’s on Salem Avenue during that restaurant’s heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. During that era, Leo oversaw the family restaurant’s kitchen, while his brother Tony and sister Gloria ran the front of the house. Tony retired in 1995 and died in 2005; Gloria — described by her brother Leo as “the heart” of Anticoli’s — departed in 1999 and died in 2012.
Anticoli’s closed in 2000, and Leo launched Caffe Anticoli, which operated on North Main Street in Clayton from 2000 to 2010. After it closed, Leo and his son Chris opened Giuliano’s. His other son Michael operates La Piazza restaurant in Troy, and his daughter Peggy oversees a second La Piazza in New Bremen.
Leo Anticoli had open-heart surgery earlier this year, and he was disappointed in how many of his nurses and other caregivers weren’t aware of the Miamisburg restaurant’s existence. Now, he says he is “reaching back to Salem Avenue” to help launch the re-branded Anticoli’s Giuliano Tavern, with the help of tavern manager Barry Clapp and chef Barry Cook, both of whom worked for Leo at the Salem Avenue Anticoli’s.
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 9, and through the remaining days of September, the Miamisburg restaurant will offer a special menu that will include favorites from the best days of Anticoli’s, including “Half & Half” pasta pairing of ravioli and spaghetti and meatballs; his brother Tony’s Cannelloni recipe; his sister Gloria’s Lasagna a la Romano recipe; a signature Blackened Prime Rib of Beef that is first slow-roasted then seared to order; and a New York Strip grilled Tuscan-style with herbs, olive oil, black pepper and a grilled-tomato garnish.
In another nod to nostalgia, Anticoli said diners who order from the special anniversary dinner menu will get a cup of coffee or glass of iced tea for 10 cents.
Anticoli’s Giuliano Tavern is open daily for dinner starting at 4:30 p.m., and is open for lunch Thursday through Sunday. The restaurant seats 80 in its main dining room, 50 on a patio and 40 in its bar. For more information, call (937) 859-3000 or go to www.giulianotavern.com.
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