It doesn't matter that Independence Day has come and gone. To Lenny Lorando, every day is like the Fourth of July. Born in Romania, he came to the United States in 1993. Today he owns a Summer Street restaurant frequented by the rich and famous, many of whom are pictured in a photo montage in the restaurant's front entrance. Next to the montage stands an American Flag, which Lenny constantly displays.
"I'm very lucky," says Lenny, whose English is laced with accents of his native language. The New Canaan resident affably talks about Ferrante, the restaurant he opened in Stamford in 2006.
"I wanted to have my own restaurant since I was a child and I found somebody to give me this dream," he says. Just who that somebody is, Lenny declines to reveal. He does say that he realizes having a silent business partner willing to financially support his aspirations makes him more fortunate than many.
Lenny was studying agricultural engineering in Romania when he met a student from Trumbull attending medical school there. He ended up marrying her. After coming to the United States, Lenny worked at a couple of restaurants in New York, and even made headlines when a patron left a $16,000 tip . Customers remained loyal when Lenny opened the Stamford restaurant, visiting and ordering favorites such as risotto, sole and filet mignon prepared by Executive Chef Alessandro D'Alessi. Many of those customers are household names.
"When they do a film [in Connecticut] they come here," says Lenny, referring to patrons such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Anne Hathaway. Customers also have included Laurence Fishburne, Mickey Rourke, Billy Joel and other music industry, political and business celebrities.
"They come for the quality of the food, the wines, the ambiance," says Lenny, adding, "People, they like it, the way I treat them."
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