Yesterday, I was writing about Italian food for the magazine and my mind wondered back to Modo Mio, the restaurant that opened on Frankford and the Tollway in 1997. The chef was Rino Brigliadori. I can still remember a gnocchi dish, his tiramisu, and a lovely frozen peach he filled with house-made peach gelato. I named Modo Mio one of the 12 Best Restaurants of 1997.
Over the years, I spoke with him many times. He moved from Modo Mio and opened Positano followed by Bene Bene. He was a charming man and always a pleasure to talk with whether the conversation was about food or the pitfalls of the restaurant business.
Last August, I learned he was ill. Yesterday, I did a search to see if I could locate him and I was horrified to find his obituary. He passed away, at the age of 68, on November 16, 2012. I believe his son, Rino Brigliadori, Jr., is in Dallas and perhaps other members of his family. I would like to express my sorrow for their loss and my tardiness at discovering this sad news.
Update: Steven Doyle sends word: “There is an homage to the gnocchi on Gene Gate’s menu at his new restaurant, Battuto’s. I believe Brigliadori’s son gave him the recipe, or at least his blessing.”