When Michael Giannasca was growing up on Garfield Avenue in Chelsea, the Bradlees department store was the big draw in the Parkway Plaza Shopping Center.
Giannasca, a member of the CHS Class of 1982, has returned to his hometown and the new-look area of the city with an exciting new restaurant, Michael’s G, that had its grand opening Friday at 1068 Revere Beach Parkway in the Chelsea Commons Plaza.
“It’s going well so far,” said Giannasca. “It’s a little hectic, but it’s going very well.”
If the customers’ early reviews are an indication, Giannasca, 53, has hit a home run.
“The eggplant was absolutely delicious,” said Chelsea resident Al Mazin, who dined with three friends. “The food was tasty and they give you a large portion. I can’t wait to try their other Italian dishes. I’ll be back here soon.”
Giannasca brings many years of experience in the restaurant industry to Michael G’s – yes, the restaurant is named after him.
“I’ve been in the restaurant business for over 40 years,” he said. “I opened my first place in 1990 in Winchester. From there I went to work for my in-laws at a very popular East Boston establishment.”
Giannasca made a decision to launch his own restaurant and Michael G’s is the newest arrival on the food scene.
Proud to call himself a lifelong Chelsea resident, Michael and attended the Prattville School and Chelsea High School. “My grandparents (Salvatore and Mary Savignano) came here from Italy in the 1920s,” he said. “My father (Armando Giannasca) was from Italy. My mother (Mary Ann Savignano Giannasca) was born here.”
He attended the Prattville School and Chelsea High School. After graduation, he began his successful in the food business.
What are the specialties at Michael G’s?
“Pasta dishes – we’re using homemade fresh pasta, chicken ziti broccoli, chicken parmigiana all hand-cut, breaded daily, we have barbecued steak tips and chicken, artisan pizza, sandwiches, calzones, salads – and we’re going to be having breakfast on the weekends,” said Giannasca. “I believe we’ll have Katz bagels. I want to keep close to Chelsea. I have ties here and I want to do business with other businesses in the city.”
Michael’s children, Matthew Giannasca, 22, a 2016 graduate of Lynnfield High, and Ava Giannasca, 17, a senior at Lynnfield High, are also on staff at the restaurant Friday.
“I brought my son in to the business at the age of 14 and so he’s been in it for eight years now,” said Michael. “I don’t know if my daughter’s named after [legendary actress] Ava Gardner, but she’s as beautiful.”
Remembering His Days at CHS
Michael Giannasca, owner of Michael’s G’s, graduated from Chelsea schools 38 years ago, but his memories are vivid.
“My favorite teachers in Chelsea were Mr. Paul Scheffi – I was a teacher’s pet with him and had him for social studies, Mr. (Stuart) Feinberg, Mr. D. (Anthony DiGregorio) for science, Ms. Mary Guerrero, she was the Italian (foreign languages) teacher, Mr. Pellegriti [at the Prattville School] – I have a lot of good memories from Chelsea High School and a lot of good friends,” recalled Michael.
Michael Giannasca is related to the Annese and Piotti families, two long-time Chelsea families with similar origins in Italy.
Interestingly one of Michael’s classmates, Chelsea Police Officer Joseph Capistran, stopped by for lunch at Michael G’s and seemed to be immensely enjoying his opening Caesar salad along with soft, baked rolls and butter. Other classmates on the Chelsea Police Department are Chief Brian Kyes and Police Officer Richard Bellomo.
“We were kids together playing at Washington Park,” recalled Giannasca. “Brian lived in Prattville, so we were always at Washington Park. I also socialized at Voke Park a lot– there was Michael Morganelli, Tony Casucci, the Donarumos, Richie Maronski, Paul Driscoll, Johnny Dorso, L.J. DeCristofaro. “And I graduated with Jolene Bevere, Dawn DeAngelis, Julie Amentola, Timmy Kehoe – it was a great class,” said Michael.