Why does Filomena Ristorante do such extensive decorating for every holiday? We hear that question all the time, so we’ll try to explain to some degree!
When Jo Anna Filomena was a small child, life was lived so very differently (no TV or electronics or appliances). She was part of a large, hard-working Italian family. Her father, Antimo, was the sole provider and her mother, Filomena, was a housewife who not only cared for the children but managed to keep a very happy home.
Back in those days most people spent almost all of their free time at home. Everyone worked very hard physically each day and was quite tired by nightfall. Families looked forward to going home and staying home, and people rarely ever went out to eat. Eating at home with family and relatives or friends was a time of enjoyment for everyone, where we conversed and learned about one another’s lives and aspirations. Holidays, in particular, were greatly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed.
To Filomena, all holidays were big celebrations and she wanted the house to reflect each holiday. She wanted everyone to know and see and feel the spirit of each holiday, as she did. It wasn’t enough to know it was a holiday – she wanted us to feel the holiday all around us.
JoAnna remembers when the house was all decorated and she couldn’t wait to get home from school. She loved the happy feelings it uncovered, the special foods and desserts served for each holiday, and the friends and relatives who visited each other’s homes to see each other’s decorations. Of course, JoAnna and her brothers always thought their decorations were best!
Filomena was a master of making something out of almost nothing and every year she tried to do things a little different. Of course, our home was not even close to the scale of Filomena Ristorante, if you can imagine. What Filomena did for a few, we try to do for many and often overdo at that!
At Filomena Ristorante, we try to create a similar feeling to that of JoAnna’s festive home growing up! We love whimsy and flight of fancy– something to make you look twice or just smile. Whether you like or dislike a holiday – you will notice and hopefully if for only a moment or two forget any stressful thoughts in your day and just focus on our fun, silly, and often over-the-top decorations!
For Jo Anna Filomena, her mother’s decorations gave her the warm and wonderful memories that still are alive for her so many years later. Her hope is that for all the effort, work, time and patience that it takes to create these decorations, that they will do for each of her guests what her mother’s house did for her!
We try our best to make and display things you won’t see anywhere else. This is very time consuming but we think it’s worth it! We are truly unique, in that we know of no other restaurant in the U.S. or abroad that does holiday decorating quite like Filomena!
Our most extensive holiday decorations are Christmas, Easter and Halloween. We also decorate to the highest-degree possible on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and 4th of July. We hope you will stop by and enjoy our decorations throughout the year!
The Christmas tree at Filomena’s house was always very special and so our Christmas tree has become a centerpiece for the restaurant. JoAnna always finds a tree that is just a little bit bigger, taller, and fuller than there is room for in the dining room, and decorates it with thousands of antique ornaments, little “treasures,” and lights. Guests come to see the tree from all over the world, long before and long after Christmas. The most asked questions at Christmas are “How many lights are on the tree?” and “How many ornaments are on the tree?” As for the ornaments, we have no idea. They go up in segments, box after box, and there is no way to count them. Guests and employees alike always have fun trying to estimate—the going count is about 5,500. We only know for sure that there are thousands! As to the question of lights, since they go up in strings of 100, we are pretty close when we say that there are at least 10,000!
We hope your family chooses to experience holiday cheer with our family at Filomena Ristorante!
We struggle during these troubling times and uncharted waters to know which decision is the most responsible.
Here at Filomena our staff is our family and many have been with us from our beginning. Also, we are exceptionally close to our loyal guests who have been our friends for these past 37 plus years and in 37 years we have never faced such a dilemma.
The well-being of our staff, their families and our guests is paramount. We have therefore made the very difficult decision to close Filomena for two weeks. The place for everyone right now is to isolate in our own homes.
I deeply apologize to anyone having a reservation during these next two weeks. We hope you understand the necessity of this action. We are trying to be proactive and protect our loved ones.
So please stay safe and we hope to see you April 27th!