Rose Brutico Fazio opened Abbiocco with a passion for cooking and a collection of family recipes — some more than a century old.
She began welcoming diners to the eatery at 639 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit, in May 2016 and continues to serve Italian-American dishes such as Chicken Francaise, Homemade Eggplant Parmigiana and Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi. Abbiocco also has a pet-friendly patio and dog menu for its four-legged guests.
Chef’s Table recently chatted with Fazio about her love of cooking and how she shares it with her customers.
Q: What is the history of the restaurant?
A: Cooking to me is a passion. Cooking in my family is a way of life. Both of my grandfathers owned restaurants in Old Forge and Scranton, so I think it was my destiny. Growing up in an Italian family meant there was always something simmering on the stove any time of the day. Between my mother, grandmother and Uncle Anthony Brutico, I have a storehouse full of recipes. Their influence on me was paramount, and the recipes for my sauces and meatballs are well over 100 years old. However, I did not start out cooking. After graduating from Penn State University with a degree in education, I owned a successful woman’s boutique (La Bottega Con Stile) for several years. I loved working in fashion and meeting new people, but my desire was always cooking. When the opportunity arose for me to continue my family’s tradition of owning a restaurant, I eagerly took it. At Abbiocco, we take great pride in offering you an excellent dining experience.
Q: What kind of food do you serve, and what is available for people with special diets?
A: We proudly boast signature dishes and a host of Italian and American specialties, always rotating new dishes and old favorites weekly. We are committed to using the finest, freshest ingredients in our recipes. Our menu is created using as much locally grown produce and ingredients as possible. We love supporting the community. We aim to provide happiness and joy through our food. Come to Abbiocco and experience that wonderful feeling of contentment and drowsiness you get after eating a fine meal. Our recipes have been passed down through many generations of our Italian ancestors, along with our executive chef Jose Pillot’s culinary talents and his ability to create innovative, savory dishes that have become local favorites. We do our best to offer a wide assortment of options that meet the needs of those with dietary restrictions or looking for alternate options.
Q: How did your menu come to be?
A: Our menu originated from our family’s heritage and has come from years of family cooking traditions. It has since evolved exponentially since hiring our talented executive chef (Pillot) along with his incredible kitchen team. We have since welcomed his creative freedom, where he has created some exceptional local favorites. We as a team continue to add new and savory flavors for our customers.
Q: What are your most-ordered menu items and why?
A: Chicken Abbiocco is a signature dish of ours, created especially for our customers and something you can only get at Abbiocco. The Chicken Francaise, homemade Eggplant Parmigiana, Risotto, homemade Ricotta Gnocchi with one of our signature sauces and our Sautéed Mussels have all been favorites as well. I believe it is our specialty dishes that people cannot find anywhere else.
Q: How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
A: Our décor is a cozy, home-like atmosphere with a modern flare. The atmosphere has a warm, welcoming appearance that is softly lit by the array of dimmed sparkling lights above. This (is) paired with each table having romantic tea lights flickering against the table settings. The tables are dressed in soft black linens that contrast the black and red seating. Guests are then welcomed by our friendly and attentive staff, who have a remarkable ability to make each guest feel like family. Lastly, our restaurant is full of our family’s history, holding our Italian family heritage in every photograph. The entire restaurant says welcome, relax and enjoy your evening.
Q: What type of seating do you offer?
A:We offer indoor and outdoor seating at tables with traditional dining chairs. During lunch, we have a more casual environment, and during dinner, we have soft mood lighting met with candlelight to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for our customers. We have also worked on replicating that experience to our outdoor dining customers as well. On our patio, we happily welcome our guests’ pets to dine with them with a healthy and unique pet-friendly menu that gives our pet guests something to wag their tails about.
Q: What kinds of promotions do you offer?
A: We offer a variety of family options, for large families, that give them large quantities of food at an affordable price. We also have specials that change weekly. Our customers can subscribe to our text service and stay up to date with our promotions by texting “Abbiocco” to 51660. Our (social) media pages also are an excellent way of staying up to date with everything as well as Abbiocco.net.
Q: Do you offer catering, event space, etc.?
A: Yes, we offer both onsite and offsite catering. We ask that our customers order ahead of time or the day before the event. We also use our restaurant as an event space on Sundays (when allowed) as well as (offer) a covered, heated tent on our deck.
Q: Are you offering delivery, takeout or curbside pickup?
A: Yes, we are currently offering takeout and curbside pickup and indoor and outdoor dining.
Q: Where do you see the restaurant headed?
A: We are excited to continue serving our loyal customers for years to come. We greatly appreciate the support everyone has shown throughout this year. We hope to begin expanding following the pandemic.