Jacqueline Pirolo isn’t one to shy away from hard work. Though she never intended to pursue a career in the restaurant industry, she became determined to focus her efforts on building a family business, inspired by her native cuisine and her upbringing both at home and abroad. Born in Italy, Pirolo grew up stateside in an Italian household with three older brothers. A graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing, she began waiting tables at a lively Italian eatery with a Tuscan ambience; her first foray into the world of fine dining. Though she briefly switched careers, becoming Production Coordinator at the Gravity Visual Effects House, Pirolo soon returned to the restaurant industry in 2011, when she and her brothers opened The Saint Austere in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as owner and general manager. Featuring updates on classic European dishes, seasonal ingredients, and an extensive wine program, Pirolo has overseen every detail of The Saint Austere since its inception. Her skillful management of a flourishing team and clientele was a credit to the restaurant’s overwhelming success. In her newest role, Pirolo oversees the beverage program as well as day-to-day operations of the award-winning rustic Italian eatery, Macchialina, where she has garnered a Pineapple Award for Best Sommelier (2018) and a Wine Spectator Award (2019) as well as being featured by the same publication for her “small but mighty” wine list. Our esteemed beverage director launched the Saint Austere in Brooklyn with her brothers and later won a Pineapple Award for Best Sommelier and a wine Spectator Award.
"I have quite a few favorite dishes but the short list is Leche de Tigre, Buffalo Wings, and a spicy Spaghetti Pomodoro with fresh basil. I could, and have, eaten these dishes multiple times a week and have never gotten over them. Anything with salt, acid, and heat does it for me!"
"For me, the perfect dish is spaghetti con vongole. I never tire of eating it. There is such a wonderfully delicate balance between the sweetness of the garlic, the brininess of the clams and the heat you get in the back of your throat from the peperoncino. Oh, and don't skimp on the clams, I don't want to even be able to see the spaghetti before I've eaten 10 clams."
"I love whole fish, salt crusted and/or fire roasted. I love picking around the head and getting every morsel from the bones. There's something so satisfying about it."
"I can eat pasta every single day. I couldn't possibly choose one, but in my top 3 would be orecchiette with broccoli rabe along side a glass of timorasso."