History

 

Picco Tavern, formerly known as "The Restaurant” now has a larger history. The original owner recruited Michael Monaco of Chef's United LLC  to reopen the establishment as Picco Tavern. Similar name of his signature Picco Lissimo.  In 1979 Picco Lissimo was started by Ronnie Mawn & Michael Monaco. Ronnie Mawn was the owner of the famous  Archers restaurant in Fort Lee, NJ.  Monaco first started his career in Peluso's kitchen under Dennis Raggi and Trent Peluso in Cliffside Park. Then Monaco travelled to Archer's restaurant to apprentice chef under Joseph "Sonny D’ DiCrescenzi, and lastly, Serfino Mansueto in Fort Lee.  Sonny D was notably flown out to California to cook for Frank Sinatra private parties.  
 In that time, Ronnie Mawn felt the whole experience of moderately priced dining was non-existent, and there was a niche market for Italian seafood. Monaco agreed. Ronnie and Monaco started looking for other options on the market and realized that patrons were given no alternatives from high prices and dress codes when it came to dinning for Italian seafood. Until they decided to fulfill the market's need. Monaco went to work training new a staff.  He had a great 10-year run at Picco Lissimo. Monaco sold his shares and moved on to open Baci and East Hill Grill in Englewood and Sanducci's in River Edge. After three years Monaco decided to sell Sanducci's  and briefly consult and create In Napoli in Fort Lee. Finally he chose to retired from the restaurant business in 2000 to pursue ambitions that allowed him to spend more time with his family. Now, fifteen years later Monaco is making his return to the restaurant business with the opening of Picco Tavern and establish a  consulting firm, Chefs United LLC.  Lastly, Michael DeNegris has been recruited as executive chef to run the kitchen having formally successfully created the kitchens for Smoke Steakhouse and the New Bridge Inn. DeNigris also apprenticed under Sonny D for a period of four years at SonnyD's restaurant located in Seacaucus New Jersey. His father also owned DJ's Restaurant in Fairview and his brother is a icon in the industry leading Campagnola restaurant at 1382 1st Ave New York, NY for over 30 years. . The combination of Monaco and DeNegris bring over 50 years of experience in the culinary arts and have been lifelong friends now with the opportunity to teach and pass on the recipes of the Archers era of Sonny D. for generations to come.