The Scotto Sisters: Turning Lemons Into Lemon Trees

Sisters Rosanna and Elaina Scotto have recently reopened the famed Fresco by Scotto restaurant in midtown Manhattan, and they did it with a splash, drawing in a celebrity-packed crowd after a year-long Covid-hiatus. Rosanna, the host of “Good Day NY,” and Elaina, who has a background in fashion and public relations, have revamped their family restaurant with the help of designer and event planner Larry Scott.

The sisters talk to James Lane Post about the restaurant industry, their perfect day in the Hamptons, their Instagram show, and much more.

Tell us a little about the reopening of Fresco by Scotto.

Elaina: When we reopened Fresco by Scotto for the second time, we held our breath. We wanted to create a special outdoor experience with a party-like atmosphere. Let’s face it, everyone has mastered cooking at home during the pandemic. We had to give people a reason not only to go out, but a reason to go to a deserted midtown. We knew our restaurant had to be spectacular (thank you, Larry Scott), but it also needed great music. We called upon our cousin Michaelangelo L’acqua, who is a world-renowned music director, to put together 24 hours of unbelievable music — hence the vibe was created.

Tell us a little about each of your backgrounds and what brought you both to this point.

Rosanna: I am the host of “Good Day NY.” While I have a very serious job, I also like to wine and dine. It was only natural to bring in friends in the TV news and entertainment world. I am also in charge of social media.

Elaina: My background 28 years ago was in fashion and public relations — my relationships with fashion designers and executives bring in an eclectic crowd to Fresco. My knowledge of such comes in handy when dressing staff/image and fine details of the restaurant as well as planning events.

How has the restaurant changed over time since opening in 1993?

Elaina: The decor of the restaurant has recently changed of course with the lemon trees, new lighting, great music, and modernization of carpet and banquets. The one thing that will always remain the same is the warmth of our family meeting, greeting, and schmoozing customers.

Talk a little about the new outdoor dining space created with the help of Larry Scott.

Rosanna: Larry Scott created an outdoor oasis that is seen throughout the interior of Fresco by Scotto. The outdoor area is reminiscent of a famous restaurant in Capri called Da Paolino. Of course Larry added his touch with modern accents and sexy lighting.

What are some of the new menu options?

Elaina: The menu will always have Fresco staples — homemade potato and zucchini chips, grilled pizzas, and penne Bolognese. Our new items are more modern — lighter in feel and refreshing for the summer.

Tell us about your Instagram show on the @ScottoSisters page.

Rosanna: Our IG show started during lockdown as a way to keep our family connected and our extended family calm. We wanted to be not only a source of information, but a distraction. We have evolved to having comedians, fashion designers, and fitness influencers as guests. The show is called “Scotto Schmoozing.” The Scotto Sisters will be hosting a lunch for the New York Wine & Food Festival in October.

What is your perfect day like in the Hamptons?

Elaina: Perfect day in the Hamptons is surrounded by family, cooking in the kitchen, laughing and dancing around the table.

Are there any East End charities that you support?

Rosanna: We have supported many charities in the Hamptons. We’re getting ready for the SHE event, which raises money for Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health.

Jessica Mackin-Cipro


Jessica Mackin-Cipro is an editor and writer from the East End of Long Island. She has won numerous NYPA and PCLI awards for journalism and social media. She was previously the Executive Editor of The Independent Newspaper.

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