In 1971, Dora Iaffaldano immigrated to the United States with her husband and young son, from Rutigliano, a town just South of Bari. They settled in the Bronx. Dora was an excellent Southern Italian cook. Dora was a loving and giving woman who believed in simplicity. Much of her happiness came from making other people happy through food. Her blood runs through my veins and I am very grateful that I have inherited many of her attributes. Dora is the inspiration for this restaurant. She passed away in 2016 and Dora’s is my living tribute to her.
Almost everything I do in this restaurant comes from my mother
My career in restaurants started when I became a busboy in a Bronx catering hall and worked my way up to assisting the chef. I then started working in a pizzeria when I was eighteen. Fifteen years later, I purchased my own pizzeria in Mount Vernon, New York. I owned New York Pizza for twenty-seven years until I closed it in June of 2017 to open Dora’s.
I like to keep my food simple using only the best wholesome ingredients to allow you to taste the natural flavors of our food. True southern Italian cuisine demands that you purchase fresh high-quality ingredients and cook it with simplicity. My mother Dora instilled this in me.
When a patron comes into my restaurant they will feel a comfortable warmth and know they are going to get a good meal and great service. I was taught that you prepare every meal like it was going on the family table and I want every one of my guests to feel as if they are part of my family. You enter as a customer and leave like a member of the family.
I am happiest when I am behind the stove or behind the pizza counter. I feel joy in knowing I am making something for someone with my hands using the best ingredients and my own creativity that will make them happy. I love making people happy through my food and I will do whatever is necessary to please my guests at Dora’s.