It’s Flashback Friday! Chef Al Fini has had restaurants in the Austin area for 30 years now! He came to Studio 512 to show us how to fill tortellini at home as one of the dishes on his throwback menu.
It’s Italian Cucina Chef Al Fini and partner Shara Bella Fini celebrate 30 years in Austin this fall with a look back at a string of seven successful Italian restaurants spanning the last three decades. The Throwback Tasting Menu (1989 – 2019) celebrates the team’s 30 years of Italian culinary and is available at It’s Italian Cucina for a limited time from September 1st through September 30th.
The five-course tasting menu is a celebration of the most popular dishes from each of the previous six restaurants. Chef Al and Shara Bella opened their first Austin, Texas location in 1989 with Cafe di Roma which quickly became a staple for Austinites looking for authentic, quality Northern Italian Cuisine. The restaurateurs followed with six more successful Northern Italian restaurants including Piccolo Cafe, Mamma Mia, Cafe Uno, Cafe di Roma, and the fine-dining establishment, Girasole, culminating in the popular neighborhood bistro, It’s Italian Cucina on South Lamar.
After many years of award-winning wine lists and dishes, critics’ raves, and recipient of multiple awards from Ciao Italia, Zagat, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast, Chef Al and Shara Bella continue to offer Austin locals the tastes, culture, and community found in Northern Italian cafes.
“It’s Italian Cucina is the richest and most refined creation of our 30 years of experience in the restaurant, food and beverage sector,” says chef Al Fini. “We love Austin and love sharing our passion for Northern Italian delicaciesit has been a dream come true. We are so proud of Austin and three decades of success.”
Featuring: It’s Italian Cucina (2017) Insalata Strato
Truffled Roasted Eggplants with Tomatoes & Arugula
Featuring: Piccolo Cafe (2000-2005) Tortellini dei Nobili
Cheese Filled Tortellini with Prosciutto, Mushrooms, Peas in a Cream Parmesan Sauce
Featuring: Mamma Mia Ristorante (1991-2000) Sogliola Mandorla
Sole Fillet Lightly Breaded, Pan Sautéed & Topped with Toasted Almond in a Garlic Butter Caper Sauce
Featuring: Girasole Fine Cuisine (2000-2002) Agnello con Fegato Grasso
Grilled Rack of Lamb Topped with Foie Gras
in a Red Wine Reduction Sauce
Featuring: Cafe di Roma (1989-1991) Torta di Formaggio
Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Coulis
It’s Italian Cucina serves lunch Tuesday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (11 p.m. on Saturday). Saturday and Sunday brunch served 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one of Austin’s best happy hours, Tuesday through Friday 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., plus complimentary wine tasting featuring Italian varietals on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7p.m.