Ribbon cutting held for Tarantino’s Little Italy
by Whitley Clifton | March 15, 2019 10:28 am
The Tarantino’s Little Italy brand started in March 2014 and is now going on its fifth year of producing the most authentic Italian food in southeast Georgia. Their new location at 113 South Main Street in Swainsboro officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 22. At 4 p.m., members of the chamber of commerce, dignitaries, and community persons joined in the occasion.
Joe Tarantino and his wife-to-be, Erin Cress, moved to Swainsboro in November 2018. He’s a chef and restaurant operator of 20 years, having started after serving five years in the United States Air Force. All of his recipes are mostly handed down from his family or are things he’s picked up along the way. Tarantino is a proud father of three daughters and a son, and he has two granddaughters.
Cress is a children’s book author, a professional dog breeder, and mother of two beautiful. Young daughters. (Her book is available for purchase at the restaurant any time.)
Tarantino and Cress have joined families and now have become more than life partners; family is very important to them.
At their restaurant, customers’ imaginations are their menu. “We will make anything you want with appropriate notice, even if it’s not on the menu,” Tarantino said. “Everything in house is made from scratch, and we feature the best steak dinners in the area with prime rib served every Friday night starting at 5 p.m.”
Tarantino’s offers a $5,000 reward for any microwave found in their kitchen—but you can’t bring your own! The restaurant is open seven days a week and offers a buffet every Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. with fried chicken, fried pork chops, and an endless pasta bowl that changes weekly.
“As our family grows here in Swainsboro, so will the buffet. Erin and I pride ourselves on serving nothing but the highest quality food and giving superb service each and every day. Although we strive for perfection, we know that we are going to make mistakes. If we do, you can contact us immediately so we can make sure you’re totally satisfied. Everyone who walks through our door is family and will be treated as such.”
The Italian eatery also takes to-go orders and will soon deliver. In the future once this location is stable, Tarantino and Cress would like to open a pizza restaurant. With the community’s support, the plan is to keep growing.
Tarantino’s is also a comedy club featuring Barefoot Comedy with host Collin Moulton from Showtime and Last Call with Carson Daily. These shows will be listed on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Tarantino’s also has karaoke, dancing, dart tournaments, corks and canvas, bike night, and soon will have live bands. “You can also be serenaded by our good friend, Phill Scalmato, who performs classic Italian music every other Friday night from 6 until 9,” Tarantino said.
The kitchen closes at 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but the bar stays open until the last guest leaves every night, making it possible for patrons to enjoy the cozy bar atmosphere with friends and even play a few games of darts with great happy hour specials. Friday nights starting at 10 p.m. is dancing and karaoke, and ladies drink free mixers from then until 11 p.m. However, entrants must be at least 21 or older for a safe, adult environment.
“We have had some amazing things happen already in just the few months we’ve been open, such as country music star Craig Campbell having dinner with us and singing here at the restaurant. Jesse Blanco from the food show Eat It and Like It out of Savannah came to visit and gave us a shoutout on his network page. We’ve got 29 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, over 500 likes on Facebook with more than 7,000 followers, and much more!” Tarantino said. “We thank God and all of you for the wonderful welcome, and we also thank all the followers who have supported us since the beginning of our brand. We are truly excited to bring something unique for all to enjoy. Tarantino’s is looking forward to participating in all the community events and helping in any way we can. We’re also open to any kind of charitable fundraisers to help people in need with advance notice. We would also like to thank our staff for all the hard work they have put into helping us bring you this amazing eatery.”