MANHATTAN – Weathering the past two years has been no easy task, not for any New Yorker or one of the thousands of small businesses that give the city and the neighborhood its character. Now, the Upper East Side says goodbye to another favorite, this time around it is Tre Otto closing its doors forever after more than a decade serving delicious dishes.
‘The most authentic Italian family-owned restaurant in NYC’ is how Tre Otto is described itself, and it certainly had the chops to back up that bold claim.
Tre Otto’s owner, Louis Cangiano, says his grandfather, Pasquale, came to America from Italy as a trained pastry chef, but became a butcher, opening three pork stores in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. After Pasquale passed away at just 43 years old, his wife Maria Anna became the family matriarch, running the stores until Louis’ father and brothers could take over the businesses.
Fast forward to 2009, Louis and his wife Lauren opened Tre Otto at its original restaurant on Madison Avenue near East 98th Street, choosing the name meaning ‘three eights’ in Italian, representing Maria Anna’s favorite number, 888, which also happened to be day she died— 8/8/1978.
While technically located in East Harlem near Mount Sinai Hospital, Tre Otto would go on to become a favorite of Upper East Siders, until a 2013 fire destroyed the critically-acclaimed Italian restaurant.
A year and a half later, in March 2015, Tre Otto would reopen in the space right next door to the original establishment.
Following the reopening, The Michelin Guide wrote “Tre Otto’s mouthwatering menu boasts home-style dishes made from recipes gathered over time.”
The praise continues in descriptions of a “luscious salad of shaved fennel” and a pesto Trapanese made of a “divinely rich combination of tomatoes, almonds, garlic and basil.”
After more than a decade of serving some of the finest Italian cuisine, Tre Otto became another victim of the Covid-19 pandemic, co-owner Louis Cangiano tells Upper East Site, business had just become too slow to continue.
“We’d like to thank everybody in the neighborhood for their support over the past twelve years,” Tre Otto’s proprietor told us.
“It was an amazing run,” Cangiano added.
Last Thursday, Louis and Lauren announced on social media that the next night would be Tre Otto’s last dinner service.
“We wanted to thank our friends and neighbors for visiting over the years,” co-owner Lauren Cangiano wrote on NextDoor.
“Your smiling faces will be missed.”
Upper East Site asked whether the married restauranteurs would open an other restaurant in the neighborhood, Louis said he didn’t think so— but noted they do live on the Upper East Side.