Shirley Ciminello was a fantastic cook, her son David (“David John” as she called him) tells us. She was born in Taunton, Massachusetts to parents of Portuguese descent. When she was very young her father moved to Passaic, New Jersey for work, so Shirley spent her childhood between the two cities. She was always eager to learn to cook and would surround herself with knowledgeable teachers. When in Taunton, she’d stay at her Aunt Olive’s who taught her cooking “basics,” and when in Passaic, she spent most of her time down at the “corner store,” where she learned to cook Italian specialties from the proprietress, Mary Lomonaco.
It is through good cooking that Shirley won the hearts of all the men in her life — first, her husband with what he calls the most perfect cheese omelet he ever had, then her picky father-in-law with the Italian cooking she eventually mastered, and finally her two sons who joyfully ate up her wonderful dinners nightly. When feeding her family, she’d wait for the nod of approval, or she’d critique it herself, proclaiming something as “a little too this” or “not having enough that.” When David’s dad proclaimed it “perfect,” all the table heaved a sigh of relief.
David was very close to his mother and to this day thinks of her every time he cooks. That’s because Shirley would inevitably call during the dinner hour — never with a “how are you” but always with a “what are you making?” David happily responded telling her about a new dish while she probed for the juicy details, always offering advice.
Every day is Mother’s Day at Mother’s Bistro & Bar and we believe that sometimes we channel mothers through our food. It’s undeniable when eating food that tastes like something from our past we are taken back — back to the warm nurturing arms of our mothers or around the table with our families. It’s often through food that we remember our mothers. Just like David does every time he cooks.
Goat Cheese & Zucchini Sformato
savory flan, parmesan cream, marinated cherry tomatoes,
balsamic-dressed mesclun greens
Braised Tuscan Pork
slow-cooked Carlton Farms Pork, porcini mushrooms, red wine, sage,
creamy polenta, spinach
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
mascarpone whipped cream, fresh berries
cynar liqueur, prosecco, grapefruit juice, rocks