Renato Migliorini, 82, partner in Hudson restaurant

Renato Migliorini in a recent photo.
Renato Migliorini in a recent photo.

BY ALBERT AMATEAU  |  Renato Migliorini, a partner in the family-owned restaurant Piccolo Angolo, on Hudson St., died April 19 after a brief illness. He was 82.

He died from the complications of a series of procedures over the past three weeks, said his son, Peter.

With his wife of 52 years, Pauline, his son and his daughter, Maria Cintron, and a brother, Costanzo, known as Mario, Renato ran the restaurant near the corner of Jane St. for the past 22 years.

“On sunny days he would sit outside in his sweater and white apron and talk to neighbors and passersby,” said his son. “Animals and children were special friends. Neighborhood dogs would pull their owners to Piccolo because they knew that Renato would come out and feed them cheese and bread,” Peter said. “His cat, Mickey, and his two ‘grand-dogs,’ Toby and Benny, are still with us,” Peter added.

“Customers became friends, attracted not only by Renato’s and Mario’s cooking, but also for Renato himself,” Peter said. “He would rattle off the menu specials rapid-fire and would use his hands to pantomime the daily specials — rabbit ears, boar fangs, fish whiskers. To amuse restless children, he’d sometimes play the harmonica.”

Before they established Piccolo Angolo, Renato and his brother ran Trattoria Zito, at 90 West St. in Lower Manhattan.

“That was before the World Trade Center was built. Battery Park City wasn’t even there,” Peter said.

Renato was born in July 1931 in Frisolino, Italy, a village in the hills inland from Lavagna, a coastal town below Genoa on the Italian Riviera. He was one of seven children (four brothers and three sisters) of Ermete and Anna Migliorini.

Renato and Costanzo worked in restaurants in Lavagna as teenagers, but jobs were scarce. So Costanzo emigrated to Argentina, where an aunt had moved earlier. Renato followed in 1949 and joined his brother working in restaurants.

In 1961, Renato came to New York and took an apartment on Hudson St. in a building where Pauline Galliano lived with her parents, who were born in New York of immigrant parents. Renato and Pauline were married in 1962.

In addition to his wife, son, daughter and brother Costanzo, a brother, Franco, also involved in the restaurant, survives, as do a third brother, Benito, and three sisters, Leda Gamma, Eletta Caffesse and Olga Marchetti, all of Lavagna. He also leaves a son-in-law, Teddy Cintron, daughter-in-law, Sarah Kickham, and several nieces and nephews.

Scores of neighbors, friends and associates came to the viewings on April 22 and 23 at Greenwich Village Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker St. The funeral Mass was April 24 at Our Lady of Pompeii Church, on Carmine St. Burial was at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Renato’s memory to the Humane Society of New York, 306 E. 59th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10022.