Our story begins with Michele Corteo (pronounced Mi-k-le). He is the oldest of eleven children. In the 1950's he left his hometown of Monte di Procida Naples, Italy and went to New York City in search of the "American Dream". In 1965 he opened Umberto's in New Hyde Park, Long Island for his brothers Tiberio, Joe, and Umberto (for whom the restaurant was named). During the next ten years, Mike (Michele) worked by day as a longshoreman and by night at the restaurant. Then in 1972 he opened Umberto's II (with his brother Tiberio) in Mineola, NY and became a full time restaurant owner.
In 1974, the warm Florida sun beckoned to Mike and he moved his family, Lordina his wife of 52 years and his sons John and Neil to Clearwater. In the spring of 1975 Umberto's of Long Island opened in Dunedin. For the next four years the family began educating Floridians on authentic Italian cuisine. At the end of 1978 he sold the restaurant. in 1980 he missed the restaurant business and opened up Michele's with his sons. They were the first Italian Restaurant in Palm Harbor. During the next 25 years they became known for having the best Italian food and pizza in the Tampa Bay Area. Meanwhile his brothers Joe and Salvatore carried the Umberto's of Long Island name to Fort Lauderdale. By late 2005, Mike wanted to retire and John and Neil wanted to spend quality time with their families. So the property was sold and they all enjoyed a much needed and deserved vacation.
But our story doesn't end there. In late 2006, like their father before, John and Neil missed the restaurant business, so the search for the right location began. After a lot of work and family support, Corteo's opened on July 17, 2007. Why not use the Michele's? The brothers wanted to use the family last name Corteo because for 25 years there was always a question on how to pronounced Michele.
The Corteo family would like to thank our loyal customers since 1975 and our new customers for their patronage. "Hello and Welcome to Corteo's"