The Coli family’s love for fish originates from their experiences in Puglia Italy. As a child, Francesco would spend most of his time going into the Mediterranean Sea to catch fish with a spear gun, while Pasquale spent nine years as a First Class Chef on Italian cruise ships and another two years as a proprietor of his own restaurant, Michelangelo. During a trip abroad to New York City, Pasquale had a successful interview with Captain’s Table in Manhattan and soon after decided to relocate his family from their beloved Italy to New York City.
In 1982, shortly after relocating, executive chef Pasquale was described as “the most versatile fish cook in New York City” by Jay Jacobs, a restaurant reviewer for Gourmet Magazine. Again in 1993, Pasquale received acclaim from Gourmet Magazine for his expertise in preparing fish and lobster. Francesco’s love for fish also grew with his father’s, as he was running around Fulton Fish Market at the mere age of seven years old.
In 1998, Francesco took a front-of-the-house position at Ocean Grill, a seafood restaurant in Manhattan, after his graduation from Pace University. Although Pasquale was retired at this time, he knew his son was passionate about pursuing a career in the food industry and decided to help him open his own restaurant. Francesco and Pasquale opened La Villetta in 2000, while Francesco continued taking classes at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. When La Villetta became too small to contain the growing crowds, Francesco decided to open Massa’ restaurant in Scarsdale, NY in 2010.
Massa’ is known for hosting local celebrities, as well as providing perfected Italian cuisine and comfort to families big and small. Francesco is known for being well acquainted and concerned with his customers and their needs. Pasquale is known for great service, as he can customize dishes based on customers’ preferences, and delectable dishes, such as the popular bluefin tuna with a pepper crust and a light Dijon mustard sauce. With such success in only a few years, Francesco and Pasquale have decided to open Massa’ Coastal Italian Cuisine, which allows this dynamic duo to encompass their love of fish with their love of Italian cuisine.