Da Vinci’s Ristorante in Summer Hill is a new business, yet in the single year that they have been open they have attracted a strong local following that was proud to nominate them as a finalist in the Local Business Awards.
Tony Lo Iacono, one of the three founders of Da Vinci’s, has been in this business for decades, starting with a gelato bar back in Italy in 1984. After moving to Australia in 1998, he opened up Gelateria Caffe 2000 in Rozelle which was incredibly popular within the community and among critics. Then last year, together with his nephews Nicola Piteo and Valerio Rossi, Tony decided to try something new and Da Vinci’s Ristorante was born. Nicola, who has previously worked as a manager for a restaurant in Westfield Centrepoint, spoke to Ciao recently about the restaurant’s quick success.
Starting a new business is very difficult no matter the circumstances, but opening an Italian restaurant in the Inner West is especially arduous and demanding simply because of the competition. So how has Da Vinci’s found itself an Inner West Local Business Award finalist after just one year of business? Well according to co-owner Nicola it comes down to two things; traditional Italian recipes and a dedicated staff. As Nicola told us, “we may not speak English properly and we might not completely understand when our customers make jokes, but we definitely provide them with an authentic service and product since we only follow authentic Italian recipes.”
Da Vinci’s Ristorante serves all the Italian meals you know and love but their pizza is definitely a stand out. Made in the Roman style with a thin base and a lightly crusted edge, it is unlike the average pizzas you will find in Sydney. In fact the Da Vinci boys took home first prize for both best vegetarian and dessert pizza at the Global Pizza Challenge this May.
But let’s not forget the gelato. Considering Tony’s history with ice cream, Da Vinci’s gelato, which is produced fresh on the premises is also a must-try and makes the perfect end to a delicious meal.
According to Nicola, a large part of Da Vinci’s success can be put down to them finding their place in the community. Summer Hill is full of growing families and these guys say they are excited and proud to be a part of local life, and feel a sense of accomplishment being a part of the constant development of the Inner West.
When asked how it felt to be nominated as a finalist, Nicola said that they never thought it could have happened, but “the idea of having so many customers who took the time to vote for us is absolute bliss.” It is really satisfying to be recognised and appreciated for your work and when it’s by your customers, you know you’re doing something right, he explained. Nicola, Tony and Valerio said they want to thank each and every person who voted for them, as well as their staff, because without them all of this would have been impossible.
For more information visit www.davincispizzeria.com.au