At Padrino’s Bistro and Italian Steakhouse, located in the Briarwood Shopping Center in Hamilton, everyone is treated like family. Opened in 2009 by Kim Coppola and her late husband, Chef Leonardo Coppola, Padrino’s is your perfect family-oriented neighborhood Italian restaurant. That is one of the reasons Padrino’s is a popular location to host milestone birthday celebrations, wedding showers, baby showers, weddings, and other special events.

“We try to make your special event as personal as possible,” explains owner Kim Coppola. “We fit the menu to whatever you want to do.” In addition to traditional sit-down lunches and dinners, Padrino’s has hosted picnics and tea parties, and is open to other fun ideas.

“We can incorporate anything into your party. You have free use of the room. If you want a different time, we can do it. It is your party. We try to accommodate anything, and if we can’t, we let you know up front. Bring in your own decorations” to personalize the event, explains Kim.

There is no extra charge for cutting cakes, or bringing in your own entertainment. At Padrino’s you can bring in your decorations the night before. “We do whatever we can to help out.” The package prices include soda, coffee, tea, and tax. There is a 20 percent gratuity added to the final total.

There are three choices of meals, plus they always include their eggplant parmesan for vegetarian guests, as well as sides of roasted potatoes and mixed vegetables.

“Nothing is set in stone. It is not a problem with guests with dietary needs, such as allergies to garlic or gluten — we can accommodate all of their needs. We are very flexible,” adds Kim. “We try to make it as painless as possible to plan a party. You pick the place. Our staff knows what it is doing. The food is good and plentiful. It should be fun.”

Kim once had a request for a “half Italian, half Chinese party. They asked if we could incorporate it and we did. We made a special menu for them and we did it. They loved it.”

The family atmosphere extends to the actual event. “We’ve had a one-year-old birthday party. They brought in padding for the floor and gates and gated an area for the kids so they could have fun. It was great,” adds Kim.

All of Padrino’s food is fresh and made to order, including the seafood. “We sell a lot of seafood because it is always fresh. We sell a lot of chicken and veal dishes, traditional Italian food brought into the 21st century, with a modern flair.”

They still cook the same recipes Chef Leonardo created and maintain the same family feel that was important to him. “He wanted everyone to come in and feel like family. This is his extended dining room. It is an Italian family tradition — an extension of our home. That’s what we offer — some place special for our guests. We try to do anything we can to make their day special,” adds Kim.

Meals are served in a large dining room with the hint of Italian music in the background. Using curtains, the restaurant can create an intimate section, perfect for your special event from 10 to 110 guests. They offer six different banquet packages that can be modified based on your group’s needs.

Padrino’s Bistro and Italian Steakhouse, Briarwood Shopping Center, 2452 Kuser Road, Hamilton. 609-587-7575. Open Mondays to Thursdays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays noon to 9 p.m. Reservations may be made online.

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