As one of the nation’s most respected restaurateurs, Tony May has worked diligently for four decades to elevate the image of Italian cuisine in America. For years, first as General Manager and then owner, Tony May operated New York’s Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center (1968-1986). In 1981, he received his first IVY award. In 1986, he opened the restaurant Palio, which attracted critical acclaim throughout the world. Two years later, he opened San Domenico NY, the flagship restaurant of the Tony May Group that garnered international praise for 20 years.
In 1989, Tony May was chosen by his distinguished peers to be included in the prestigious “Who’s Who of Cooking in America.” In 1990, he was selected as the Silver Plate recipient in the Independent Restaurant Operator category by the International Food Service Manufacturers Association (IFMA). In 1992, he received his second IVY award for San Domenico NY and was awarded the Silver Spoon by Food Arts for his achievements over 25 years as a restaurateur and a leader in the food service industry.
In 1997 Tony May opened Gemelli in the World Trade Center followed by PastaBreak in 1998. On September 11, 2001, both Gemelli and PastaBreak were destroyed in the attack on World Trade Center. Tony May worked tirelessly to help feed the rescue workers, as well as to help his displaced employees. A new PastaBreak opened a year later in the E-Walk complex in Times Square on October 7, 2002.
Tony May is also the author of “ITALIAN CUISINE: Basic Cooking Techniques,” a textbook distributed to culinary schools throughout the U.S., now available to the general public.
In 1996, San Domenico NY was one of only 24 restaurants throughout the world to receive the first Insegna del Ristorante Italiano from the President of the Republic of Italy, an award denoting the finest Italian restaurants outside of Italy.
Venerable restaurateur and culinary ambassador of Italy, Tony May is one of the most distinguished professionals in the hospitality industry. In 2008, San Domenico NY closed on Central Park South as Tony May simultaneously launched SanDomenico Events, a full service company bringing Italian hospitality to gatherings of all kinds. In September 2009 Tony May’s world-renowned restaurant prowess culminates with the opening of the highly-anticipated SD26, a tri-level restaurant on Madison Square Park North showcasing contemporary Italian cuisine and the next generation in fine dining.