Say It Ain't So, Romeo; New Haven Institution To Close Christmas Eve

I remember the first time I had a veal & peppers on a hard roll at Romeo's. It wasn't supposed to happen. They were supposed to have veal parm. Why wouldn't they - they literally had EVERYTHING else a nice Italian boy could want: pizza, chicken marsala, sausage & peppers, lemon chicken with peas (sooooo good), and a gourmet section with every cheese and cold cut a guy could dream of. But they didn't. And while I kept saying Really? Really? You don't have it? the line behind me just got longer and longer. It was always long, but it always moved fast, too.

So veal & peppers it was, and I had them melt some provolone on it. There'd be no turning back. One of the greatest sandwiches churned out in the Elm City, like, ever, and now Romeo & Cesare's is calling it a night.

“I feel bad to leave,” my man Romeo told a reporter, no doubt with that lovable southern Italy accent that was music to my ears for so many years. "But it’s time to retire."

Yup. This is not pandemic-induced, or rent hike hysteria. It's just...time. And so it will go on Christmas Eve, when to all - in New Haven, and the East Rock area in particular - it won't be a good night.

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