The Monte Family History
Over 100+ years of serving the best of everything, to the best people, in the best manner possible.
Sant' Angelo di Lombardi
Angelo Montemarano was born to Angelina and Rocco in Sant' Angelo di Lombardi, a suburb of Napoli, Italy who 4 years later migrated to Brooklyn, where they set up a Grocery store at 492 President St.
The grocery store became so popular, Angelo opened up a restaurant across the yard, sourcing all the fresh ingredients directly from the store, where his wife Filomena cooked recipes from back home for the local Italian neighborhood. This is where the sauce was born, always on a simmer in a large pot-bellied stove.
In the apartment above the restaurant, Angelo and Filomena gave birth to 7 boys, Rocco, Michael, Vincent, Joseph, Nicholas, Angelo and Peter who all went on to work in the restaurant at one time or another.
FIVE STAR MOTHER
With the advent of World War 2, five of the Monte boys joined the service. Due to his limited vision, Nick was not accepted by the service leaving him in charge of the restaurant.
THE VENETIAN ROOM
By the grace of god, all five brothers returned home from the war, and were put right to work. Following Nick's new vision for the restaurant, they extended the restaurant by hand with bricks from buildings being torn down in the neighborhood and rebranded as Monte's Venetian Room. The walls were covered with murals of Venice by local artist, Joe Carroll as a nod to the Gowanus Canal down the block.
THE GLORY DAYS
The new look and feel of the restaurant brought a newfound popularity and Monte's became a staple for Italian food in Brooklyn. Dishes like Shrimp Florentine, Veal Scallopine, Eggplant Parmigiana, Baked Clams and Mussels, Cappelli di Angelo, and their Famous Italian Cheescake drew a who's who of New York City. Sammy Davis Jr, Hugh Carey, Ben Gazzara, Joey Gallo and Tony Bennett frequented alongside longshoremen, judges, bookmakers, business tycoons, loan sharks and bankers. Monte's entertained all walks of life.
Upon an invite for the best linguini and clams in Montauk by a regular guest, Jack McGowan, Nick and his wife Joyce ventured out east. Enjoying Canadian Club and Dewars on their ride out, the plan for linguini clams had been forgotten and instead they stopped at Gurney's Inn for lunch. Upon finding out there was no liquor served at this property, and Nick quickly falling in love with the incredible view and property, Nick made an offer to Mrs. Gurney to buy the property. To his surprise, she called him a few weeks later and offered to sell the property to Nick for $200,000.
Nick enlisted the help of his brother Angelo, and quickly packed up and moved their families to Montauk and got right to work expanding the oceanfront property. At the time, what was just a small restaurant and a few beachside cottages quickly grew into the world-renowned resort it is today. First things first, Nick and Angelo built a full-service bar and state-of-the-art kitchen. Over the next 20 years, over 100 hotel rooms, a conference center, beach barge and International Health and Beauty Spa were constructed.
Gurney's Inn HEY DAY
The second generation carried the torch through the next 50+ years alongside Nick and Angelo. All 5 of Angelo and his wife Gladys' children (Paul, Angelo "Chip", Phyllis, Ann Marie and Teresa) went on to operate Gurney's. The family served another generation of celebrities, politicians, artists, wise guys and customers from all corners of the world and walks of life. Guests enjoyed the hospitality throughout the property and the menu which carried on the classics from Brooklyn and featured many seafood dishes made from the local seafood caught and imported into Montauk.
After the sale of Gurney's, the Montes reinvented themselves in the Hudson Valley of New York with the advent of Monte’s Local Kitchen & Tap Room in Amenia. This more recent development in the long historical legacy of the Monte Family came about in 2014 when Ann Marie found a location in Amenia, NY that closely resembled the original Monte’s building in Brooklyn. Shortly thereafter, the seeds were sown for the birth of a new entity to be called Monte’s Local Kitchen & Tap Room.
After apprenticing under Chef Angelo "Chip" Monte by studying the recipe, combined with months of trial and error working into the wee hours of the night (when the restaurant closed), PJ sold the jarred sauce out of the trunk of his car to specialty shops and farm stands from the Hudson Valley, New York City and the Hamptons.