Michael Morra (centre) is pictured here with his genitori (parents) in Monteleone, Italy in 1960
Michael was born and raised in a small town in Italy. His family, like so many southern Italian families, lived off of their land and livestock. Mealtime was Michael's favourite time of day because it was always a family affair and an opportunity for storytelling.
Following his eldest sister, Michael immigrated to Canada when he was 16-years-old and immediately landed a job washing dishes in a Toronto restaurant. With a desire to learn English as quickly as possible, he began shining shoes - and chatting with his customers - in a barber shop in what is now The Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
Making a “practical” career choice, Michael completed hairdresser training in 1957. His entrepreneurial spirit and desire to provide jobs for his younger siblings who were also immigrating to Canada drove him to open two salons, both of which are still in operation today!
In 1975, with two successful salons and an interest in property development, Michael got his real estate license. A few years later he built the Clarkson Galleria where Michael’s Back Door has lived since its inception in 1981.
To this day Michael’s immediate and extended family, along with many customers-turned-friends, enjoy dining there together, in keeping with the Italian tradition that every meal should be a family affair and one to be celebrated.
OUR CLASSIC DISHES
Since opening in 1981 these classic dishes have been long-time favourites and are still featured on our menus today.
Originally named after Michael himself, this pasta dish with lobster meat in a tomato cream sauce has been a fan favourite since the very beginning.
This linguine pasta dish (shown in photo) featuring fresh shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams in a white wine garlic basil tomato sauce has been a seafood lovers dream since 1981.
Veal Scaloppine can come in many forms but this classic Italian dish features tender veal topped with eggplant, capicollo and bocconcini cheese in basil garlic tomato sauce.