Festa Italiana Peekskill is proud to announce the recipient of this year’s “Distinguished Italian Citizen” award: Salvatore (Sal) Scaramellino.
To be eligible to win this award one must be of Italian descent, have lived or worked in Peekskill for a good number of years and must have had a positive effect on the City. Mayor Mary Foster will present Scaramellino with the award at 5 p.m. tonight, as a kick-off to the
Scaramellino, along with his late wife Margaret, worked their entire careers as the proprietors of one of Peekskill’s favorite restaurants. Sorrento’s was a treasure of hospitality and local charm, and to this day is fondly spoken of by those who sorely miss it.
Decades of Peekskillians grew up eating at, and, in many cases, working at Sorrento’s. Bussing tables and making pizza at Sorrento’s was the first job for many of Peekskill’s youth.
Sorrento’s was the place where frozen or wet commuters found refuge while waiting for that last train. And those who had missed that last train were invited to spend the night on a couch in the Scaramellino home, a gesture that truly went above and beyond the call of duty of even the most hospitable restaurateurs.
Meeting at Sorrento’s was like meeting at City Hall. For years, city officials conducted business over delicious Italian meals at Sorrento’s. They could tell how popular their decisions were by what they overheard from other patrons.
Even the New York Jets had a tradition of having dinner at Sorrento’s, prior to closing training camp and beginning their season.
In addition to running his successful restaurant, Scaramellino was a founding member of the Jan Peek Golf League, a member of the Peekskill Elks club and a friend of the Assumption Church and School. He was a supporter of the Peekskill Ambulance Corp., the Peekskill Volunteer Fire Department and the Peekskill Community Hospital (now Hudson Valley Hospital Center), to name a few. He also sponsored many Lopolla Little League Teams, as well as other local sports teams for both boys and girls.