Almonte, Peluso sworn in as newest members of Italo-American Club

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Add the names Ernie Almonte and Thomas Peluso to the distinguished list of leaders for the prestigious Italo-American Club of Rhode Island.

“Benvenuti!” exclaimed George Lazzareschi Jr., the Italian-American social club’s president, as he welcomed members and guests to the recent swearing-in ceremony inside the historic building at 477 Broadway in Providence. “Tonight, we’re adding another chapter to our club’s history that dates back to 1896.”

Lazzareschi Jr., a Johnston resident who doubles as Providence superintendent of public safety and a famous five-time world champion power lifter, announced that Almonte will take the oath of office and serve as a member of the Italo-American Club’s prestigious Board of Directors, which includes ex-officio Anthony “Nappy” Napiltano, Joe Cinquegrano, Don DiSiderato Jr. and Johnston residents Steven Mallane, Gina Sabitoni-Arekelian and Peter Montequila Jr.

Peluso, meanwhile, was sworn in as the club’s sergeant-at-arms. He joins Lazzareschi Jr., vice president Thomas Norato, treasurer Robert Villucci and Johnston resident Donna Folcarelli on the list of officers.

Once the ceremony was complete, officials and guests enjoyed yet another delicious dinner that Lazzareschi Jr. said represented the “quality food being served here at Maria’s Cucina.”

For those not familiar with the Italo-American Club, Maria’s Cucina is the society’s newest restaurant. It’s being operated under the ownership of Johnston state Rep. Greg Costantino and general manager Chris Spitrini, a one-time All-State and champion baseball player at La Salle Academy.

“Maria’s is a tribute to a very special lady,” Lazzareschi Jr. wanted it known. “It’s named in honor and memory of the late Maria Costantino, and the food is always as good as she used to make at her home. Many of her recipes were handed down through family generations and are featured at the restaurant.”

Lazzareschi Jr. also noted that Maria’s Cucina is open to the public and there is plenty of free parking. He also explained that Maria Costantino, who was born on Providence’s Federal Hill back in 1926 and raised 13 children, passed away in 2012 at age 86.

He also encouraged people who would like to make a reservation at Maria’s Cucina or would like more information to call 401-528-1111.

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