The husband-and-wife business partners were already working together as architects in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy when they decided they wanted to open an Italian restaurant in the United States. Bertozzi said the idea to consider doing so near Dallas and Fort Worth came from an unexpected source: a North Richland Hills opera singer staying in their home.
After months of research, before and after the move, they chose a location in Colleyville, invited their friend from Emilia-Romagna, Michele Ragazzini, to join them as chef and opened. In March they celebrated their one-year anniversary.
Bertozzi said she and Matteucci wanted the restaurant to promote Italian culture. When they moved, she said they came as ambassadors.
“Food is not just food for Italians,” Bertozzi said. “[Food is] culture; it’s history; it’s whatever is connected to our background. It’s the first way to introduce [others] to our culture. That’s why, maybe, we love food. Because it’s part of our land. And because we like, of course, to eat well.”
Bertozzi said she and Matteucci have begun to become more than ambassadors. A move as big as theirs brings change, she said. She, Matteucci and their families had to acclimate to a new culture. But now they are able to connect with both their old and new homes at once. Their children go to school in the area, they have friends in and out of the restaurant, and they gladly offer customers travel advice for trips to Italy. The restaurant itself is a connection to their home, they said.
Bertozzi said the furniture is Italian. Around the store, tall shelves are filled with Italian packaged food and products.
She said the different products and brands offer a look at many sides of Italy, and the design of the restaurant makes it feel like home.
5615 Colleyville Blvd.,
Ste. 410, Colleyville
Hours: Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.- 9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Mon.