The Sopranos was a crime drama series that was broadcast from 1990 to 2007. It centres on a mafia boss as he struggles with mental health issues, work problems and conflicts within his family. A restaurant was used as the setting for a number of important scenes.
The main character, Tony Soprano is a lover of food. Eating is even a theme in a number of seasons. There is rarely an episode where Tony does not dine at an eating establishment. He often uses these eateries as a venue to discuss business with his crime associates. Other times he takes his family to restaurants so that they can have a fun evening out together.
The place that Tony normally goes to is Vesuvio. It serves high end Italian dishes. In the first season Tony burns down the restaurant in order to profit from an insurance scam. This leads to tension between him and the owner.
Eventually they make up and Vesuvio is rebuilt. Tony becomes a VIP and often racks up a big tab. Many of the scenes involving gang meetings take place within Vesuvio. Sometimes the restaurant is closed off to the public so that Tony and his family or associates can enjoy their privacy.
The food being served at Vesuvio proved to be so popular with the viewers that there was even a cook book released. It contains a number of recipes for Italian food, complete with pictures. The book also gave out further information about Vesuvio. This included its history and details on its staff members.
The final scene of the show is one of the most talked about sequences in all of television. In it Tony is with his wife and son after surviving a dangerous gang war. Many of his older friends have been assassinated in the carnage. Tony takes his family out to a restaurant.
Just when he is feeling relaxed and safe a couple of gang members approach him and the screen turns to black. This was preceded by an episode where another mafia member is shot in a restaurant. This has added to speculation that Tony is killed at the end of the show. Throughout its run restaurants were an important setting for the series.