Critics rated this gem one of the tops restaurants in Boston for years. Located on MainStreet in Waltham, it was miles away from the bustling nightlife of Boston and the waterfront. But, diners from throughout Eastern Massachusetts flocked to its doors for the Northern Italian menu and unique wines (many from Italy).

Rich Barron had a master’s touch with the cuisine. Initially he had teamed up with Jeannie Rogers (a sommelier who travelled regularly to the vineyards of Northern Italy and became friends with the winemakers).

But the real reason behind my sorrow over the loss of a great restaurant is the quiet support for Wednesday’s Child, a support which raised millions of dollars over the years for special needs adoption. Jeannie and Richie approached Marci and me after one of our regular visits for dining and said they wanted to do something to help these children. We decided on a yearly dinner with the food and wine provided at cost.

Initially, our support for the evening came almost exclusively from members of the Weston Golf Club. Joe Dempsey, John Collins and Rick Curtin rallied friends and fellow golfers to pay $500 a person for a chance to have a special menu and unlimited great wines, with the proceeds to go for a great cause. We took over Il Capriccio for that one night a year and it grew beyond our wildest expectations.

Our most successful effort came in the late nineties when Ed and Gretchen Fish came to the dinner. Ed, took me aside and said he would like to make an anonymous donation doubling whatever we raised that night. In total that brought in $250,000. They continued to support the children over the years. After Ed passed away, we renamed the dinner the Ed Fish memorial dinner.

Over the years, Marci and I dined at Il Capriccio hundreds of times. I can truthfully say we never had a bad meal. Some restaurants are irreplaceable.



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