Family Field Trip: Angelo and Vinci’s

IMG_0983-1 There is a restaurant in Downtown Fullerton (Sorry out-of-CA readers,more OC talk) called Angelo’s and Vinci’s. I have been coming to this place since I was a kid, and I still adore it. It is a feast for the eyes. The entire interior is a cornucopia (and I rarely don’t use that word often) of eclectic ‘findings’ lining the walls and ceiling. All the Italian cliches are there; chefs, flags, fake salami, cheese wheels and wine casks but the fun part is all the other stuff. The mannequins, the mirrors, the flying trapeze guys and a heavy use of Christmas lights. There was no master plan. No interior designer evident. It was just ‘stuff’ and it was just nailed to any open surface. About the only wall with a semblance of a ‘plan’ is the back ‘love altar’ with photos of the owners ancestors. Like a little tribute to great-grandma Tortellini or Lasagna or something. Actually, the place is owned by the Steven Peck (born Ignazio Pecoraro) family. A successful choreographer and character actor starring in over 100 television and films who passed away in 2005. Next door to the restaurant was the prestigious Steven Peck Dance Studio and Reparatory Company where as a teen, I was a member. Although we wouldn’t dare eat at the restaurant…after all dancer’s figures and insanely rich (and award winning) Italian food can make for some bad fat results. Mr. Peck would often visit in the dance studio and return to manage his beloved restaurant. Always happy it seemed. He was a ‘family’ man, and he treated everyone in his place just like family.

Now I return with my kids and I watch as they take it all in. The food, the knick-knacks and fun of it. Although on this last visit, Jack found it all a little too over-whelming. And I think Mr. Peck would have smiled at the sight.

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