Posted by: Kath Usitalo | April 28, 2010

Road Food Report: Gemignani’s Is A Gem

Gemignani's Italian Specialties in Hancock with hand-lettered banner: Rudy's Spaghetti Sauce "Make Our Tradition Yours"

In the North End of Boston, is Wednesday still Prince Spaghetti Day?

Those of us of a certain age will remember the classic TV commercial starring a 12-year old Anthony rushing home to the weekly dinner.

Can’t imagine why that image popped into my mind, except that it’s Wednesday and I’m drooling just thinking about a delish meal we had earlier this month at Gemignani’s Italian Restaurant in Hancock.

Gemignani’s is across the street from Finlandia University, and after Paige, TJ and I did the college tour (loved the International School of Art & Design Fiber and Fabric Arts program!) my cousin Ellie and her husband Dana, who live in not-too-far-away L’Anse, treated us to a feast at one of their favorite spots.

It was our first visit to the homey, family restaurant, which opened in 1982 and is now run by Tony and Rose Gemignani. They still serve founder Rudy’s family-secret, special Northern Itailan-style meat sauce.

We shared two kinds of thin-crust pizzas, two flavors of ravioli (stuffed with cheese & raisin and butternut squash), eggplant parmesan and, of course, a side of spaghetti with Rudy’s famous sauce.

Everything looked and smelled so good that we dove into our food without pausing for photos—which Paige was quick to point out. “Seriously, this is the first time they haven’t taken pictures of our food before we were allowed to eat it,” she revealed (with a thankful tone) to our hosts.

Cozy bar with a good selection of well-priced wines, espresso machine

Fresh, from-scratch everything, cozy setting, great service. And good company (thanks, cousin!).

Unfortunately, we didn’t save room for the raved-about tiramisu.

Guess we’ll have to make another trip to Gemignani’s—where every day is (homemade) spaghetti day in the north end of the Upper Peninsula.

A good stop for anyone visiting Finlandia U., Michigan Tech University in neighboring Houghton, or en route to the Keweenaw Peninsula.

NOTE: Click here to see the classic :30 TV ad and click here if you’re wondering what happened to the boy some 40 years after he became an overnight household word: ANTHONY!



  1. Thanks for the Prince Spaghetti Day treat! I had forgotten all about it. Might just make it a comeback.

    • Some things just stick, like al dente pasta to the wall….

  2. You’re welcome, Kath. We enjoyed the visit. Great to add the ol’ s’ghetti commercial link, too. Y’never know what’s up in that Lahti/Usitalo memory bank of yours. Mamma mia!!!
    Cousin Ellie

  3. We’ve eaten at Gemignani’s a few months ago. For some reason we don’t get there as often as we could…thanks for the reminder, Kath. And hello Cousin Ellie on the other side of the bay!

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