If there were a Pizza-Making Hall of Fame somewhere, they’d have to reserve an entire room for the long line of Amsterdam, NY tomato pie makers who deserve induction. The last names on the plaques in that room would include Russo, Bottisti, Centi, Minnitti, Pepe, Fischetti, Parillo etc. and then there would be another plaque with just the name “Baldy” engraved on it.
That was the famous nickname of today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant, Angelo Verderese, and also the same name he used for the restaurant and tavern he opened in 1954 at 10 Reid Street. That’s right, Baldy Verderese opened an Italian food restaurant smack in the middle of the biggest Polish section of the city and despite the evident contradiction in ethnic culinary traditions, it was a smash hit from the start.