A few Hounds are lamenting the loss of Scarantino's, nee Dino's Italian Inn, which claims to be Pasadena's oldest Italian restaurant. Only those who know about it would know about it because it's tucked next to a Saab dealership on the old Route 66, just east of Pasadena Community College, nowhere near the flashy chains of Old Town or Paseo Colorado. Mike Scarantino opened Dino's in 1949 at at time when few homestyle Italian restaurants were around (there are some great old pics on the website). After the family decided to close in 2006, a great-nephew of the founder---and son of the owner of Scarantino's in Glendale---decided to keep it in the family, renovated and soon repoened it as Scarantino's Italian Inn. The changes didn't seem to attract new or more business: The restaurant will close in June.
For as old as Pasadena is, there really aren't places like the classic red-booth, old-school Italian spots like Dino's/Scarantino's. We haven't been for years, but we remember manicotti, red sauce, meatballs, minestrone. Stopping by yesterday the place really looked spruced up, but it was still empty, not even the aging Pasadena early birds were there. The faimily owns the entire building and then some, and it's on the market. Sad to say, but maybe Saab can use it.
· Scarantino's Pasadena - Closing [Chowhound]