Serving up a Bristol family tradition


There's something in the Michelettis' blood, possibly a bit of marinara.

Across four generations, in nearly a dozen restaurants across Southern New England, they have cooked and served food. The latest is Pomodoro Pizzeria on Wood Street.

Yes, there's something in the Michelettis' blood.

"Our recipes are over 100 years old," said Albert Micheletti Sr., who owned The Castle, a former banquet hall and restaurant on Poppasquash Road. The Castle hosted countless weddings, reunions, receptions and other functions during its hey-day.

"It was huge, and we lived in an apartment upstairs," said Albert Micheletti Jr. "Growing up, it was all we knew, the restaurant business."

Albert Jr., along with his brother Mark and wife Tina, opened their own Italian restaurant on Monday, the first in the family since the closing of The Castle in 1985. In keeping with tradition, Pomodoro Pizzeria serves Italian food made with only fresh ingredients, said Tina.

"Everything is original, no duplication," she said.

Tina and Mark discovered the little nook at 271 Wood St. while out on a walk several months ago.

"I think it was May," Tina recalled. "We just happened to see it and I thought it was cute. I told my husband to call and find out who owned the building. There was no 'for rent' sign on it or anything."

The next day, Mark made that phone call and "boom, it was ours," said Tina.

Even without owning and operating a restaurant, the Micheletti's have always had their hand in the food business. Mark was a food sales representative, and Albert Jr., was a head chef at a local banquet facility.

"This was something I've always wanted to do. We've been saving for this," Tina said of Pomodoro Pizzeria.

She and Mark met while working at a restaurant, and it was "pasta at first sight," she joked.

"We're keeping with the family tradition," said Mark.

As of last Friday, their 19-year-old son Marcus, was initiated into the restaurant business - starting first with washing the pots and pans.

"We all started at the bottom, and worked our way up," said Albert Jr. "Learning responsibility and hard work."

Pomodoro Pizzeria is open for dine-in, take-out and will even deliver. Catering is also available.

"You need food. You eat to live and live to eat," said Albert Sr. "And what better way to do it than sitting around a table with family."


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.