My name is Tony Ruggiero and I would like to welcome you to Tony R's Steak and Seafood.
I came to this country from Libya, Africa as a legal immigrant in 1963 and I could not speak a word of English. I've been in this country for over forty years. I am happily married to Maurina and have two beautiful children, Erica and Joe. Joe is married to Terri and they have two great kids - Joey and Bella.
Against everyone's advice, in 2004, I opened my first restaurant, Tanino Ristorante Italiano, which became an overnight success. I know what people like and how they want to be treated. I felt with that combination, how could I go wrong? The restaurant became my hobby and passion. I love seeing friends, old and new, enjoying themselves. I strive for perfection and instruct my staff to strive for perfection as well.
After four years of success with Tanino's, I decided to open Tony R's. Maurina and I wanted to create a local steakhouse with a city atmosphere. We wanted Tony R's to hold all the things we have enjoyed in restaurants across the country, while creating a place where everyone would feel comfortable and relaxed. We looked around and found the perfect spot for such a venture in Corning. It took nine months to tear apart and put back together the three buildings that hold this restaurant.
A little about the building. The restaurant part of this building was built in the early 1900's as a bank. Renovating a bank made primarily of concrete and metal was no easy task. We left the original marble floor, and had it ground and polished to bring back its original shine. We also left the bank's vault as a feature of the restaurant. We removed the vault's safety deposit boxes and safes to open up the vault for private dining. The floorboards from the foyer were made into the mantles on the downstairs fireplaces. We also replaced the center staircase, and the left front of the building. To create space for large parties, we opened and renovated the upstairs. The animal on the fireplace is a Cape Buffalo. I got it on a safari in Zimbabwe in 2006, along with the Elan and the Wildabeast. I wanted to bring them in so that everyone could admire the size of these animals. The Cape Buffalo, weighing in at over 2000 pounds fed a village for over a week.
Now about the food. Even though we are a steak and seafood restaurant, my primary goal was to have a great steakhouse. Since I know people need choices, we added seafood and several of Tanino's best dishes. Remember, I know people love choices, so I wanted to have something for everyone.
Not too bad for a legal immigrant.