Mario Santoro: Good Food, Good Company
Mario Santoro was a dedicated emergency medical technician who loved his job. Yes, he doted on his daughter, Sofia, who is now 3. And yes, he was a passionate volunteer basketball coach at his local church who sometimes showed up to practice after catching only an hour or two of sleep, after a late shift on the job.
But those who knew him best also realized that Mr. Santoro, 28, loved, more than almost anything else, to have a great meal with close friends and family.
Steak. Seafood. Appetizers. Good wine, good beer. It almost didn't matter what was on the table, as long as the food was good and the company divine, said his widow, Léonor Ramos-Santoro.
"It was kind of like breathing for him; it was almost religious for him, like taking care of your soul," she said about her husband, who immigrated from Argentina as a young boy. "Meals were sacred. You sit down and you enjoy. You're not caught up in what's going on outside."
Sometimes the Santoros made their way to the Bridge Cafe, a restaurant not far from their apartment in Lower Manhattan. At home, Mr. Santoro relished his wife's arroz con gandules, or rice with pigeon peas, with an extra zing of garlic.
"For the rest of my life, I will want Mario to come home for a meal," she said. "If he has to go back, then fine, go back. But just one more meal, that's all."
Mario Santoro previously remembered by Boom3 here in 2009 and here in 2010.
From the NY Times.