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Dec 18, 2008 05:45 AM

RIP: Frank Romagnoli of PBS's "Romagnoli's Table"

I remember seeing his show on occasion on my PBS station. Didn't move up to Boston until after they had closed their Boston-area restaurant. My loss.

Perhaps PBS will consider re-running the "Romagnoli's Table" show.

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  1. Frank Romagnoli was one of the people who brought me to my love of great food. He was my Italian Cooking mentor as I began to explore good food. I still use my battered and tattered copy of The Romagnolis' Table from time to time. But, most of what he taught me I internalized and it comes out as I improvise in the kitchen.

    I wrote about him yesterday and will order his newer books.

    1. Didn't he go by the name "Franco"? If I recall correctly, he was an Italian native and had an accent, but his wife, Margaret, was American. I had some good meals at their Burlington Mall restaurant, which was in the spot now occipied by Legal Seafood. I particularly remember a dinner there with co-workers, when we kept emptying the delicious bread basket and wound up taking most of our entrees home.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        Buon'anima. He was G. Franco Romagnoli, a Rome native, and an important early influence for sound Italian cooking in America. He's also the author of a charming portrait of his native city, A Thousand Bells at Noon, in paperback.

      2. I watched the show religiously on KQED in SF in the mid-70's and have and still use the companion cookbook. The recipes are simple and good. The vibe between Mr and Mrs R was warm and charming. Must make the pine nut cookie with almond paste in memoriam!

        1 Reply
        1. re: buttertart

          I remember watching that with my mom....and she had the book. Early PBS cooking shows were so groundbreaking in their time, Julia, Jus-tin, and Romagnolis!

          Here's the NYT obit

        2. I enjoyed several good meals at Romagnolis' Table in Quincy Market in Boston.

          I was a big fan of PBS cooking shows, especially Julia Child's, who to me was the best of the best.

          The Romangolis were really classy. Loved them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TrishUntrapped

            I also have two of their cookbooks, the original that came out in '75 and a meatless cookbook published the following year. I also have been a fan of PBS cooking shows, which is probably why I find a lot of Food Network shows and Bravo's uber-contrived "Top Chef" so hard to watch.

          2. LindaWhit -- they mentioned this man on Radiio Boston today (excellent show on the Boston dining scene). I had never heard of him, and most of the panel (B. Lynch, T. Maws, Dante diMagistris, A. Husbands) were too young to have eaten at his places. After hearing the caller wax poetical about him, I felt like I missed something special.

            1 Reply
            1. re: yumyum

              What was special about the show was that it really focused on cooking, and yet, the bond between Franco and Margaret was evident in every episode.