In the heart of New York City’s , “Duomo 51” shines as a true gem, proudly showcasing Albanian hospitality and gastronomy. This exceptional restaurant is the product of three visionary Albanian partners whose unwavering commitment to excellence has brought them incredible success. At the helm of this culinary venture are Zamir V. Gashi, affectionately known as Sammy, and the dynamic duo of Mariglen Dine and Alban Jakupaj. Alongside them is the culinary maestro, Chef Vilfrid Hodai, whose roots may be in Vlora but whose skills were honed in the culinary capital of Florence. Together, they have catapulted “Duomo 51 Ristorante” into the illustrious pages of Forbes magazine.
New York City, a melting pot of flavors and cultures, has witnessed an unprecedented surge in its dining scene over the past three years. In the wake of the pandemic, the city’s restaurant and bar landscape has evolved dramatically, with official municipal statistics revealing an astounding rise from 12,000 establishments in 2020 to a staggering 25,850 by 2023.
According to our calculations, these establishments could easily surpass 100 in number. Leading the charge in this gastronomic revolution is Sammy, a proud native of Shkodër, who is affectionately referred to as Sammy by New Yorkers and international patrons alike. With over two decades of expertise in the bar and restaurant industry, Sammy has successfully established multiple dining havens in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, including Romerino, and his latest triumph, Bar & Restaurant Duomo 51.
Nestled in the heart of the city at 25 West 51st Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, Duomo 51 offers a dining experience like no other. Its seventh-floor terrace boasts breathtaking views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the iconic Rockefeller Center (complete with an Albanian flag for Albanian patrons), and the majestic Radio City Music Hall. Impeccable service and an extensive selection of delectable cocktails await patrons, delivered with warmth by a dedicated team, many of whom hail from Albania and infuse the restaurant with an authentic touch.
Bar & Restaurant Duomo 51 is a newcomer that has rapidly risen to prominence, earning well-deserved recognition from the prestigious Forbes magazine in July. Forbes, renowned for its discerning recommendations on dining in New York, spotlights the city’s newest culinary sensations, and Duomo 51 has rightfully claimed its spot.
Eater, a trusted source for culinary enthusiasts, hails Duomo 51 as a place that “makes everyone feel comfortable.” Its intimate ambiance, with small tables adorned in crisp white linens, surrounded by wooden chairs bathed in soft lighting, transports diners to a world of old-world charm and elegance. Forbes magazine further extols Duomo 51 Ristorante as one of the city’s most beautiful dining establishments, owing to its unique vantage point capturing the beauty of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the renowned Rockefeller Center square adorned with flags from around the world, all framed by the stunning skyscrapers that embrace it.
The Rockefeller Center is a premier tourist destination, particularly during the holiday season, and Forbes rightly highlights Bar & Restaurant Duomo 51 as a worthy addition to this iconic location. In this prime Manhattan setting, Duomo 51, with its Albanian ownership, offers a fresh and inviting haven for the Albanian community and all discerning diners in the heart of New York City.
Following in the footsteps of the illustrious restaurateur Zamir Vejuka-Gashi, lovingly known as Sammy, this proud son of Shkodër has been a fixture in New York since 1996. After honing his skills in renowned NYC restaurants, both under American and international management (with some Albanian-owned gems in the mix), Sammy embarked on his journey of culinary entrepreneurship, culminating in the opening of his first restaurant, “San Marino Ristorante,” in a prestigious Wall Street hotel in 2002. Since then, Sammy has dedicated himself to the world of restaurants and real estate ventures.
In all his establishments, you’ll find an impressive cadre of Albanian talent, from bartenders and servers to hosts and managers. Their unwavering commitment to excellence has transformed these restaurants into celebrated destinations across various neighborhoods of New York City.
“Duomo 51 Ristorante” is not just a restaurant; it’s a testament to the enduring spirit and success of the Albanian community in the heart of the world’s greatest city. It’s an invitation to savor the rich flavors of Albanian cuisine, served with warmth and elegance, against the backdrop of a mesmerizing cityscape.