Six friends from Italy with a passion to share culinary treasures of their northern homeland, made famous by Barolo wine and truffles, recently flung open the doors to their first American restaurant.
Last February, far from the soaring Alps of Turin, the warm and rustic San Carlo Osteria Piemonte restaurant took its place beneath the towering skyline of Manhattan’s SoHo district to pay homage to the sophisticated tastes of an important northwest city.
“Turin is our hometown,” says Moreno Cerutti, San Carlo’s operations and managing director. “Turin was the first capital of Italy in 1861 and is a land that can offer thousand of delicious foods and wines, with Barolo wine and truffles being just two examples.”
Cerutti joined San Carlo’s CEO Carlo Rolle and General Manager Davide Poggi Ferrari in the move to America. From their 90 Thompson Street eatery, they have garnered headlines in leading publications, including the New York Times and Post, Gotham and Vogue. And while chef Riccardo Zebro serves up authentic Piedmont cuisine, investors and friends Teresa Rolle, Giorgio Pochettino and Andrea Della Valle root them on back in Turin.
The New York City venture, says Cerutti, is the exciting culmination of desire, drive and attitude. He explains the genesis of a restaurant that has drawn Princess Stephanie of Monaco to its brick-walled setting.
Q: How did six friends from Italy decide to go into the restaurant business?
It was our dream to bring to the world our traditions and culture of Turin. Millions of people in the world know about Rome, Florence, Naples and Venice. This is how they think of Italy, and we were jealous! So we opened our first restaurant at 90 Thompson Street in SoHo to bring the enogastronomic culture and philosophy of Turin and Piemonte to the world.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges, and the biggest rewards of this venture?
As Italian guys the biggest challenge has been staying far from home; we miss our family first, but also friends. But the reward comes when people love our dishes and wine, and then they say to us, “Amazing! Thank you! We’ll be back!”
Q: San Carlo Osteria Piemonte sounds like a dream come true!
At the end of this month we’ll mark our one-year anniversary. We opened on February 28, 2016. So far business is going very well for us. We met our first annual (revenue) target in just 10 months, which is wonderful!
Q: What inspires your menu?
It’s very easy: we use simple recipes of true and genuine Piemonte cuisine. All of our dishes are authentic and made with love and passion. Everything is handmade for the best taste and in presentation.
Q: San Carlo Osteria Piemonte has received a lot of favorable press. Congratulations! In your words, what makes your new restaurant great?
Attention to detail: food, service, atmosphere and friendliness. We are doing away with the stereotype that Italy is only about pizza, mafia, and mandolin. Italy is also Turin with its elegant nobility and refinement.
— San Carolo Osteria Piemonte uses Boxerbrand’s Metallic Tones for its menu cover presentation.