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That’s Amore

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Inspired by her Italian roots, Andiamo Ristorante’s Daniela Marcone is making Italian classics cool again.

By Lydia Gregovic, Photos courtesy of Giant Noise

Fall Pumpkin Ravioli

Tucked away in a North Austin strip mall, Andiamo Ristorante is a hidden gem that brings its guests the tastes of Italy without the cost of a plane ticket.

The experience begins upon entry, when guests are immediately greeted with a scene right out of Lady and the Tramp’s first date: the cozy dining room is lit by the warm glow of candles and pristine white tablecloths are spread neatly atop the tables, awaiting the next diners.

Owner Daniela Marcone was born and raised on the Italian coast, and since taking ownership of the restaurant, she’s been dedicated to showcasing the best of her culture to the Austin community. And to her, that means keeping it simple.

“For us, it’s all about keeping tradition,” Marcone says. “I focus on making authentic Italian food, the kind that I grew up eating.”

Unlike many other Italian restaurants, spaghetti and meatballs do not grace Andiamo’s menu. Rather, Marcone has chosen to forgo these Americanized classics in favor of a truly authentic approach, one grounded in her Italian roots.

“Being Italian, cooking is something you’re born into,” Marcone explains. “When we get together, we eat.”

Costoletta di Agnello

And since she can’t bring her guests to Italy, Marcone imports the best of her homeland to Austin. In addition to including ingredients such as Italian cheeses and dried meats, Andiamo is the only restaurant in the city to exclusively serve Italian wines, each sourced from small vineyards and hand-selected by Marcone herself. The result is a menu that is completely unique in its traditionalism, featuring extraordinary selections, including fettuccine ragu e caprino, a dish of house-made spinach fettuccine with ragu and fresh goat cheese; vitello al rosmarino, tender veal scaloppini sauteed in a rosemary-lemon-butter sauce; and Andiamo’s seasonal special, house-made pumpkin-and-ricotta-cheese ravioli served with a brown-butter-and-sage sauce. Don’t forget to order a basket of the best bread this side of Naples, Italy, a delicate, warm loaf woven with fresh spinach, mozzarella and leeks that is well worth cheating on any diet.

Whether you’re looking for a new spot for date night or just have a craving for authentic pasta, Andiamo Ristorante allows guests to escape Austin for a few hours without ever leaving the Lone Star State.

 

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