Milanese family honored by officials and community

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Imperati (white shirt) with Serino (microphone) honored the Milanese family.

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Milanese family opened the restaurant bearing their family name 50 years ago, on November 13, 1971.  This past weekend, the family celebrated the milestone by hosting an Italian Fest in their Main Street parking lot.

On Saturday, to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Dutchess County Undersheriff Kirk Imperati hosted a brief ceremony under the tent to pay respects to the lives lost while also honoring the members of the military, police, fire, and EMS personnel that were present.  With the Dutchess County Deputy Sheriffs PBA Explorer Post 108 as the color guard, the attendees saluted the flag for the National Anthem and paused in silence to honor the fallen. City of Poughkeepsie firefighters from Ladder 1 joined with their Captain, Steve Bauer, at the memorial. Imperati, a former employee at the Milanese, recalled how kind everyone was to each other in the wake of the attacks.  Calling it “Our generation’s Pearl Harbor,” the undersheriff said, “We need to get back to being kind to one another.”

Shifting to the anniversary celebration, Imperati called the Milanese family “pillars of the community.” State Senator Sue Serino, surrounded by the Milanese family, said, “Santino and his family welcome everyone at the restaurant.  Santino’s tableside magic tricks make everlasting memories.”  

County Executive Marc Molinaro told the family, “Dutchess County is a richer place because of your family and your great food,” before surprising the family with a proclamation.  Molinaro told the family and everyone in attendance that, coinciding with the actual anniversary date, November 13, 2021, is Milanese Day in Dutchess County,” and it was met with thundering applause.

When given the opportunity to speak, Santino Milanese humbly declined.  His oldest son Aldo took the microphone to say, “Our family appreciates the recognition from Marcus and Sue.  We also appreciate Kirk (Imperati) for organizing the brief ceremony,” before encouraging everyone to enjoy the homemade food offerings.

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison visited the festival on Sunday to enjoy the food and honor the Milanese family.  Generations of the family gathered under the tent to hear Rolison praise their commitment to the community, including a history of job creation that has helped dozens of people.  Surrounded by the Milanese family, Rolison presented a “Mayoral Certificate of Recognition” to Santino and the family.  The proclamation recognizes the family for “50 years of great food and memories.”  He took a moment to tell Mid-Hudson News “The Milanese is a landmark in our city and is responsible for drawing out-of-towners in for a great dining experience.  The city is better because of the Milanese family.”