The brothers immigrated from Italy to New York several decades back. Their parents had a coffee shop and eatery in Italy, where they both learned the tricks of the trade before moving to the United States. Giuseppe moved from New York to Arizona first; then, his brother followed. Giuseppe said he fell in love with Arizona the second he got off the airplane and knew he wanted to live in the Valley.
Their love of cooking and Italian food drove them to start a business together in Tempe—another Italian restaurant—before opening Amalfi in Chandler.
“We grew up in it, and basically, that’s all we did,” Sergio said of his family’s restaurant in Italy.
The brothers work at the restaurant seven days a week, prepping the ingredients to make their menu items from scratch.
“It keeps us young,” Giuseppe said.
Sergio said the menu items are a mix of traditional Italian dishes, but some have personal twists that one of the brothers has included. Menu items include fried calamari, eggplant parmesan, penne vodka pasta, handmade meatballs and New York-style pizzas with thin crust.
The kitchen is a more open concept, and the brothers can see and interact with their customers as they prepare their food.
“At first, I didn’t like being watched all the time, but now, I see [customers’] faces when they take a bite of our bread or our pasta, and their eyes widen, and their neck moves to look at me and say, ‘It’s good,’” Sergio said.
Sergio and Giuseppe said they take pride in the authenticity of the food they offer but hope their restaurant does not remain a “hidden gem.”
“We’ve been here for eight years, and people still don’t know about us,” Sergio said. “Because of this location, everybody thinks we only cater to older folks, but we do have a lot of young people and families that come over here, and they are missing out. They are missing out on really good Italian food.”