A Unique Film & Dining Experience at Fitzgerald’s 1928


Renowned Chef Francesco Palmieri of the Orange Squirrel has a few stories to tell, but mum’s the word. 

His respect for the privacy of his clients is as profound as his cooking talent. The best I could get out of him is that he fired a waiter on the spot for interrupting Robert Deniro’s dinner to score an autograph.  During our planning session for the upcoming January 3rd unique film and dining experience in the Side Car at Fitzgerald’s 1928 I was able to squeeze out of guest chef Palmieri an impressive list of famous patrons who have raised a glass over one of his meals.

But before getting to that list* here are a few details about the evening of January 3rd.  Vincent Schiavelli was an actor whose face you know even if his name does not immediately register for you.  He appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, Ghost, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and 120 other films and television productions.  He was a favorite of director Milos Forman.

Schiavelli was also a chef and an author.  He wrote a book of recipes and stories called Many Beautiful Things about the Sicilian mountain village where his grandfather had been a chef in a noble household.  The old man filled the boy’s mind with images, speaking in the Sicilian language, and taught him how to cook.

On January 3, 2016, diners in the Sidecar at Fitzgerald’s will be treated to the US premiere of a film about the actor’s life while being served a four course meal from recipes found in his book.   A different Sicilian wine will be served with each course.  Francesco Palmieri has put together the menu and will do all of the cooking.  The film has the same title as Schiavelli’s book – Many Beautiful Things – “Tanti Beddi Cosi “ in Sicilian, a traditional salutation that wishes many beautiful things on the recipient.

Director Aurelio Gambadoro, visiting from Sicily, will be at the dinner to answer questions and share experiences.  Local Glen Ridge residents Raphael Badagliacca and Charlie Diliberti who translated the Sicilian and Italian into the film’s English subtitles will be there to discuss what moved them to undertake the project.

*Francesco Palmieri’s famous patrons include Steve Martin, Lionel Ritchie, David Letterman, Tom Cruise, Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Victoria Price, Crosby Stills Nash, Tim Curry, Michele Phillips, LL Cool Jay, Mike Nichols, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Elton John, Martha Stewart, Jackie Onassis, and others.

Join us on January 3rd for a truly unique experience for movie lovers who appreciate fine dining.  Festivities begin 6PM.  Call  973.747.8317 for reservations, or email info@fitzgeralds1928.com$100/seat.


*brought to you by Sicilian Arts and Movies that Move Me, Inc.