About Billy’s Old Fashion
Ice Cream and Marketplace!
Welcome to Billy’s! A Bethany tradition since 1984. With a warm, friendly atmosphere, great food and the best ice cream around. And even though Billy’s has been in Bethany for more than five decades, it’s Now better than ever! We have a fabulous Chef who spent almost 30-years creating sumptuous meals at 500 Blake Street Café in New Haven. And a professional staff whose objective is to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Expect to be greeted with a smile and a recommendation for a great meal! As the weather improves, there are picnic tables and an outdoor sound system where depending on who is on duty, you might hear the mellow sounds of Frankie and Dean, the harmony of the “Jersey Boys” or the philosophical lyrics of Pink Floyd, all in the same night.
In addition to the daily menu, there is always a list of mouth-watering daily specials posted on the board as you enter. We offer a wide variety of Italian Specialties such as Zuppa di Clams over Linguini, all of the various chicken favorites like Napolitano, Francaise, Florentine, Piccata and much, much more. Planning an event? We have both Lite and Full Catering Menus for small or large private or corporate parties, weddings, banquets, for whatever your occasion requires. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask owner, Grant Barone.
Grant has been in this business for most of his adult life. His Food & Beverage Management experience started back in 1978 at the Park Plaza Hotel where he worked his way to Assistant Director of Sales. This included booking and managing major events like the Walter Camp Foundation, filling the thousand-seat ballroom with celebrities, professional sports figures and high-powered politicians each year.
In 1984 he moved on to 500 Blake Street Café where his career took off. “Blake Street,” as it was known to its vast contingent of regular customers, allowed him to expand his creative side and get more into the details of the job of event planning. During his time at Blake Street, he had the honor of serving dignitaries such as Walter Cronkite, Senator Ted Kennedy and many sports figures and celebrities. It is also at Blake Street that he first met Ed Grestini.
Our Gourmet Chef
Edward Dante Grestini was in high school in the 70’s and was hired to work part time under the tutelage of his uncle Eugene Ferraro in the kitchen at 500 Blake Street Café in New Haven. After graduating, he went on to college to major in Accounting but he was drawn back to the kitchen so he left college to pursue his love of food.
He spent all his free time touring the best restaurants in New York and Boston, reading voraciously about food preparation and presentation and, literally, training himself in the art of cooking. He says one of the highlights of his career was when he was summoned from 500 Blake Street Café one night to prepare dinner for Senators Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd at another local New Haven eating establishment. And he says the most rewarding experiences have come from ardent customers who come in and ask him to prepare their meal from appetizer to dessert without even looking at a menu. He says he is humbled by the confidence they demonstrate in him and he rises to these occasions.
He attributes his innate skill to being brought up in a Marchigiano family; a province in Italy called Marche known for its superb cooking, and his mother who was a key influence in his life, introducing him to the craft of home-style Italian cooking. Ed achieved the status of Executive Chef at Blake Street where he worked for almost 30 years.