STATEN ISLAND LUMINARIES SHARE FAVORITE MOVIE STARS, NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS, AND THE TOP SPOT ON THEIR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST

BY JESSICA JONES-GORMAN, ARCHANA AITHAL ROSE, AND AMANDA MCCOY PHOTOS BY ERIC COLEMAN AND AMANDA DOMENECH

LOCALS TO MOGULS

 

 

Frank Cretella
Principal, Landmark Hospitality landmarkhospitality.com

Seasoned real estate developer and hospitality vet Frank Cretella’s passion for good food and celebrating life’s joys inspired him to open Liberty House in 2001 with his wife Jeanne, marking the launch of Landmark Hospitality. Placing a focus on people, relationships, experiences, and family, the Cretellas slowly added more venues to their portfolio, introducing a range of boutique hotels and restaurants throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Joined by their daughter, Maddy, the generational family business now also owns and operates Hudson House, Stone House at Stirling Ridge, Ryland Inn, and Felina.

Cretella also leads Landmark Developers, a real estate development company which features an in-house construction firm, Black Dog Construction, enabling him to control all facets of each project he takes on. He is best known throughout New Jersey for transforming historical or underutilized properties into uniquely vibrant retail spaces, offices, and prestigious hospitality venues.

Nicole Spread

Together with Jeanne, he has created several foundations for the betterment of the community. Art of Hospitality Workers Alliance benefits the industry and the people who dedicate their lives to hospitality, and Businesses for Better Neighborhoods is a non-pro t dedicated to supporting both small businesses and the communities they serve. Founded in 2001, HUG (Help Us Give) is Landmark’s Corporate Giving Program committed to giving back to the community through events and local charities.

FAVORITE MOVIE STAR?
Denzel Washington: great actor, great style, and author to one of my favorite quotes – “Do what you have to do, to do what you want to do.”

WHAT IS YOUR 2021 NEW
YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
As always, to be a better version of myself and to help others realize their inner entrepreneurship.

NAME THE TOP DESTINATION ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST.
Dubai to see and experience the over-the-top hotels and public structures, but I can be easily persuaded to go back to Amalfi . Both breathtaking in their own way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent Malerba
President, Angelina’s Ristorante and Angelina’s Kitchen angelinasristorante.com, angelinaskitchennyc.com

When Angelina Malerba took a leap of faith to realize her long-standing dream of opening a restaurant, her son, Vincent, immediately joined the operation. Starting as a dishwasher, the younger Malerba eventually graduated to cook and found his calling behind the saucepan. After obtaining a cooking and management degree and helping establish Angelina’s Ristorante in Tottenville as a cornerstone of fine Italian dining on the Island, he proudly took over the reins of ownership. “I’m still the dishwasher,” he laughed. “When something breaks, then I’m also the repairman.”

Today the Angelina’s nameplate has expanded to include Angelina’s Kitchen, a more casual Italian concept in New Springville, with plans to open two new locations later this year. After decades in the biz, the Staten Island native explained his greatest joy resides in making memories for his diners, whether they are celebrating a special occasion or life milestone, or simply taking their first bite of fettuccine Bolognese.

“I’ll recognize people after five or ten years from the wedding or baby shower we hosted at the restaurant, and it’s truly something special.”

FAVORITE MALE/FEMALE MOVIE STAR?
Tom Cruise, I like his work ethic.

WHAT IS YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
Smile more after this!

NAME THE TOP DESTINATION ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST.
Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Valerie Venterina, D.D.S., P.C.
A Center for Dental Excellence / acenterfordentalexcellence.com

Upon graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dentistry, Dr. Venterina launched her career in Brooklyn 30 years ago. Her multi-specialty practice, a Center for Dental Excellence, has offices in Brooklyn and New Dorp and serves as a “one-stop-shop” for patients.

“Instead of referring patients to specialists in other offices I focused on convenience and started having the specialists come here,” said the doctor, a cosmetic and general dentist. “We currently have six to eight doctors working here at any given time, allowing us to provide all services in one location. Patients do not have to travel all over the Island and city and are offered multidisciplinary advice from a staff of experienced professionals.”

Dr. Venterina’s colleagues collaborate on all cases and rely on each other’s input and expertise.

“If a patient comes in and must have a lot of reconstruction, I know I can lean on one of our highly qualified periodontists or implantologists to collaborate on the best way to handle the case.”

Cutting-edge dentistry is a cornerstone of her practice, and she focuses on offering the newest and most advanced procedures to her patients.

FAVORITE MOVIE STAR?
My favorite actor has to be Marlon Brando for his talented acting ability, ingenuity in creating characters, and handsome good looks!

WHAT IS YOUR 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
I plan on starting each day with gratitude. I’m so grateful for the life I’ve been given and the opportunities I’ve had. 2021 for me is about gratitude!

NAME THE TOP DESTINATION ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST.
Although I’ve traveled to several countries outside the U.S., I’d like to spend a few months traveling this great nation of ours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Deluca
Chef / Owner, Deluca’s Italian Restaurant / delucasitalian.com

When COVID shuttered all restaurants last spring, Rob Deluca, like every restaurateur in the city, faced a big challenge.“We knew we had to formulate a plan or face permanent closure,” he said. “So five of us came together and formed a restaurant association during the lockdown.”

They met in secret, working quickly. They incorporated, obtained non-profit status, and built a website. Calling their effort I.R.O.A.R. (Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue), Deluca and associates immediately began emailing top government aides, chiefs of staff, and every council, senate, and assembly member that would listen. “We devised a plan to reopen NYC dining,” he explained. “The template that the governor and mayor are using? That came from my laptop.”

Over a span of weeks, Deluca’s small band of restaurant brethren grew from five to 200. Currently, this small business restaurant lobbying group continues to work with the government, representing their industry to help officials better understand the needs and wants of restaurant owners.“There were lots of ups and downs, but we were able to have our voices heard. The work we’ve done and the work we’re doing now is what will help our businesses to open up permanently very soon.”And then the chef and restaurant owner can get back to concentrating on what he loves most: providing a stellar dining experience at his Tottenville Italian restaurant.

FAVORITE MOVIE STAR?
Sylvester Stallone.

WHAT IS YOUR 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
Continue to grow and improve as a restaurateur; never be satisfied.

NAME THE TOP DESTINATION ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST.
Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Amerosi
Vice President, Gerald Peters / geraldpetersinc.com

The vice president of Gerald Peters, luxury timepiece and jewelry boutique, Peter Amerosi earned a degree in business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship from Fairleigh Dickinson University. While in school, Amerosi was a two-sport NCAA collegiate athlete, playing both baseball and football. He was the captain of his baseball team and was awarded the FDU Male Student Athlete of the Year during his senior year.

After college, he began working in the family jewelry business, founded in 1982 by his father Jerry, the store’s president. His brother Gerald is also a VP. Each year, the Amerosi clan grows the venture, expanding their footprint in the jewelry industry, and most recently, Gerald Peters became the only Staten Island Official Rolex Jeweler. The store also carries premier bridal and fashion jewelry from stylish designer brands like Roberto Coin, Kendra Scott, and Alex and Ani. Amerosi has a degree in diamond grading from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and he is on track to becoming a certifed gemologist.

An active member of his community, the former college athlete volunteers as a high school varsity football coach in addition to serving as treasurer of the Staten Island Business Council. He is engaged to his fiancée Samantha and plans to get married in October 2021.

FAVORITE MOVIE STAR?
Leonardo DiCaprio. Not only is he an excellent actor, but he also has the ability to play many different roles, making each movie more interesting than the next.

WHAT IS YOUR 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
My 2021 resolution is to live as if 2020 never happened. We all had a bad year, and I look forward to 2021 being a positive one!

NAME THE TOP DESTINATION ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST.
The Amalfi Coast in Italy. I have never traveled to Italy, and I look forward to their fantastic cuisine and the breathtaking views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Polizzotto
Owner, Towne Deli & Pizzeria / townedelipizzasi.com

Charles Polizzotto basically grew up in a pizzeria, working in his uncle’s New Dorp eatery since the age of 14. But in 1991, when he took over ownership of Towne Deli & Pizzeria in Tottenville, he learned how to be an entrepreneur, too.

“My father-in-law and mother-in-law founded this place in 1971,” said Polizzotto. “They built the business on word of mouth, cooked and catered for families in the neighborhood. So when I took over Towne Deli 30 years ago, the idea was to continue its growth.”

And grow it did. Making improvements to both the building and the business itself, Polizzotto created a dining room and expanded delivery and catering services to serve the entire borough and beyond. Now entering its 50th year, Towne Deli & Pizzeria is one of the South Shore’s most popular casual establishments.

“Nobody beats our sandwiches,” enthused the owner, designating Towne Deli the home of “The Mess,” an elaborate compilation of provolone, lettuce, tomato, spices, salami, ham cappi, mortadella, peppered ham, turkey, roast beef, and oil and vinegar. “We’ve been serving this community delicious Italian classics for three decades, and our plan is to only expand upon that in the future.”

FAVORITE MOVIE STAR?
George Clooney.

WHAT IS YOUR 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
To keep the business consistent.

NAME THE TOP DESTINATION ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST.
I would love to go back to Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Frederick Sabido, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Surgeon, Robotic General Surgery and Surgical Oncology drfredericksabidomd.com

Born and raised on the North Shore of Staten Island, Dr. Sabido is a graduate of St. Peter’s Boys High School, where he was captain of the baseball team and the first African American valedictorian. He was drafted to the California Angels right out of high school but chose to study medicine instead.

Accepted into every Ivy League school and multiple accelerated medical programs, Dr. Sabido chose the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and New York University School of Medicine. After completing his surgical residencies at UMDNJ in Newark and SIUH, he completed a brief fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at SUNY Downstate before deciding to focus on minimally invasive procedures. “I chose surgery because I wanted to be the one who could cure the disease, not just temporize it and control symptoms with medicine,” he said. “As a surgeon I could actually take out the cancer and cure patients permanently. I chose minimally invasive surgery because it’s the future.”

Dr. Sabido opened his private practice in 1997 and currently serves as division chief and fellowship program director in Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery at Richmond University Medical Center, System Director of Robotic Surgery at CarePoint Health and Director of Robotic Surgery at SURGICORE Rockaway ASC.

FAVORITE MOVIE STAR?
Harrison Ford.

WHAT IS YOUR 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
To expand my medical practices and create more jobs for people in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and New Jersey.

NAME THE TOP DESTINATION ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST.
Cayman Islands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Robert Otterbeck, M.D.
Pain Management Specialist, the Spine & Pain Institute of New York spinepainny.com

Dr. Robert Otterbeck has always been fascinated by the concept of pain. “Why do we experience it?” he pondered, describing the questions that led him to pursue a career in pain management. “How do we perceive it?

I’ve always been drawn to this concept but once I got to med school and started to lear how the
body converts physical touch into a biochemical transmission, it sparked an even greater interest.”

Born and raised in Staten Island and a graduate of Staten Island Tech, Villanova University, and SUNY Downstate, Dr. Otterbeck completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital and a residency in anesthesiology at New York University Medical Center in Manhattan.

Selected among his peers to be a chief resident in the NYU anesthesiology program in his final year of residency, he then remained at NYU, where he completed a fellowship in pain medicine, the focus of his clinical practice and research interests today.

“When I was in high school, the opioid crisis was (and still is) raging in the borough. That was also a major influence for me. I wanted to help curb that epidemic.”

Dr. Otterbeck joined the team at the Spine & Pain Institute of NY in 2019. There he works to create a multi-model, comprehensive pain management plan to address each patient individually. He employs various techniques to address pain – such as physical therapy, medication management, lifestyle changes, and, if required, minimally invasive intervention.

His specific areas of interest include low back pain, neck pain, atypical facial pain, trigeminal neuralgia, chronic migraine, spinal stenosis, acute pain after surgery, chronic surgical pain, osteoarthritis, and various neuropathic pain states.

FAVORITE MOVIE STAR?
Chris Hemsworth.

WHAT IS YOUR 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?
To convince my patients to get the COVID vaccine. There seems to be a lot of hesitancy toward it but I think lives will be saved by the hundreds of thousands if you just go and get it. I’m making it my resolution to calm the fears of every single patient I encounter.

NAME THE TOP DESTINATION ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST.
I’d love to visit the various regions of Asia. I think there are such beautiful beaches and lush greens; I’d love to witness all of the color and magnificence myself.