Lomonte’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria has been serving Italian cuisine at 815 Plantation Drive, Richmond, for 10 years. After working at his mother’s restaurant near Katy, Braden Lomonte decided to follow in his mother’s footsteps and open his own location.
“The original Lomonte’s is his mother’s restaurant,” General Manager Bruce Bell said. “Our menus are different, but we have some of the same [dishes], because his recipes—he got them from her.”
The restaurant is decorated with family photographs, while the menu uses dishes and sauces made from scratch and based on original family recipes.
“Some of these recipes come straight from Italy,” Bell said. “We might call [his grandmother] for inspiration.”
Although many of the dishes on the menu were handed down through the owner’s family, staff members are allowed to be creative in the kitchen. Head chef Dillon Springer said the job is “close to a dream come true.”
“It’s like a fine dining restaurant where you can come in with your shorts or sandals on, or bring your girlfriend on a date, an anniversary,” he said. “It’s the ambience ... that I love to be a part of while still putting out great food. It’s a lot of fun working here.”
Springer said he gets creative during Lomonte’s wine pairing nights. The five-course meals feature wine experts who offer diners drink pairing advice.
“A lot of times [Springer] likes to try and cook things he hasn’t cooked before,” Bell said.
The restaurant’s family atmosphere extends to the surrounding community as Bell said he tries to hire locally.
Chicken Con Limone features white wine lemon butter sauce, two chicken scaloppini, artichokes, Roma tomatoes, grilled asparagus and pasta.[/caption]
“It gives a lot of these kids their first jobs,” he said. “It’s just a local family restaurant, and loyalty like that ends up paying off.”
That loyalty has resulted in a large customer base, so Bell advises calling ahead on weekend nights in order to assure seating.
“They are very loyal; people love our food,” Manager Paul Starovic said. “Lots of people will come in and eat, and get it delivered to their house.”