Many customers have asked us, “What does La Palina mean?” The name and our history are intertwined.
Back in the 1930s, the fine Italian food at the spaghetti house at 179 Navy Street in Brooklyn attracted prominent people. The little eatery was frequented by singers, actors, and vaudevillians from the nearby Paramount, Fox, and Albee theaters. One regular diner was the legendary Kate Smith, best known for her powerful rendition of “God Bless America.”
Miss Smith asked owners Catello and Amelia Vertolomo why their delightful establishment didn’t have a name. They explained that they simply couldn’t think of what to call the place. Miss Smith, who was advertising La Palina Cigars for William Paley at the time, suggested La Palina, which means “little ball” in Italian.
The Vertolomo’s were honored to take their famous patron’s advice, and thus La Palina was christened.
Though we have moved and expanded since the heyday of vaudeville, we still provide the same sumptuous, authentic Italian cuisine that brought Kate Smith and her colleagues to the quaint little spaghetti house in Brooklyn.