Three years ago, Mike and Bill Buscetto fell into running Filomena’s restaurant. And now, three years later, the restaurant has been named one of the top restaurants for families in Connecticut.
“It feels great to be recognized, it really does,” Mike Buscetto said Monday. “We work hard to make it a positive experience for when people come in.”
Earlier this year, Connecticut Magazine selected Filomena’s as one of the top restaurants for families in the state. Buscetto didn’t even know about the recognition until one of his employees told him, and called it a “pleasant surprise.”
“I didn’t even know,” he said. “One of my employees said congratulations, and that’s how I found out about it.”
Buscetto and his brother have been running the restaurant for the past three years after they purchased a share of it from the original owners. For Mike Buscetto, a developer by trade, it has been a change, but the same skills are needed.
“I’m used to hard work,” he said. “I’m used to long hours. I’m used to dealing with people. It is nice that when you put all that hard work in, at the end of the day, that your recognized by someone for whatever reason in your particular field. It was nice.”
Buscetto built the Utopia Centre in 2006, selling it less than two weeks after it opened. Filomena’s was an original tenant of the plaza, although was ran by Mike Ogle and Bruno Trombino of Westerly.
The two men ran another restaurant in Westerly and were having trouble running both restaurants, according to a 2010 article from The Day. Three years ago, Buscetto and his brother purchased an interest in Filomena's and took over as the day-to-day managers of the restaurant, according to The Day article.
The two decided to make changes to the restaurant, including changing the staff, changing the menu, changing the décor and making a private dining room in the restaurant for events and banquets, Buscetto told Patch Monday.
“We concentrated less on happy hour and more on the quality of the food and the experience here,” he said.
Since, the dining room has been used for a wide array of events, from memorials to rehearsal dinners to wedding showers, Buscetto said. And to be recognized by Connecticut Magazine, just three years after taking the restaurant over, feels good, he said.
“It is nice because we are relatively new,” Buscetto said. “And to gain recognition throughout the state, and really by the experts is the one who picked it, it is really nice. It is good for the staff, it is good for the customers, it is good for Waterford.”