When Driton “Tony” Sylaj came to the USA in 2000 he dreamed of owning his own restaurant. Tony was born in Kosova in January 1983. Upon arriving in this country his first goal was to obtain a degree. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and received an Associates Degree in Restaurant and Hotel Management.
Tony began as a dishwasher in a small Italian cafe and gradually worked his way up to bus boy, waiter and then captain. He became the front of the house manager and then started to develop an interest in food preparation. He began as a prep cook and ultimately became head chef. His culinary background leading to Grappa is quite diverse. He has cooked and managed restaurants with the Hilton and Ritz Carlton hotels as well as Yonkers Raceway and Casino and the Surf Club Catering Hall.
All of these experiences confirmed his goals and dreams. He wanted to own a restaurant of his own that featured exceptional food, an intimate atmosphere and a staff of courteous, hard working professionals. Grappa Ristorante is that and more.
Ten years of hard work and commitment have allowed Driton Sylaj’s dreams to become a reality in Warwick Valley, New York. A long way from Kosova.