If the Buzzettas know anything, it’s family and tradition. As part of the Manno family restaurant group, Tony Buzzetta and his mother, Lia Buzzetta, are preparing to open a new Italian fine dining destination – Buzzetta Italian Café – in Chesterfield this June.
With other successful restaurants already in their company – such as Sapore Italian Café in Kirkwood, Paul Manno’s Restaurant in Chesterfield, and Il Be Lago in Creve Coeur – the Buzzettas are confident that Buzzetta Italian Café, will fit right in with their restaurant group. “Like Sapore, we focus on fresh ingredients and traditional recipes,” Tony says. “It’s what people expect from us.” With their latest menu already underway, Buzzetta’s will focus on traditional Italian food and beverages. The restaurant will have a modern, elegant atmosphere – with tablecloths adorning the tables in their intimate dining room. “We really pour our hearts and souls into making people feel comfortable and welcome,” Tony says.
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Some notable specialties they plan to offer include family recipes for veal pasta, and Nino’s dessert – a dessert served tableside and made with fresh plums, Frangelico and ice cream. In addition to traditional Italian staples, Buzzetta’s plans to offer specialty entrées that will rotate daily, giving regulars new choices every time they return. Lia is already in the process of training cooks, including some she’s worked with for years as well as new additions to the team. The bar program will focus on perfecting classic cocktails, and the menu will feature Italian-style martinis and an extensive list of Italian and domestic wines. The space – formerly home to Filippo’s Italian Kitchen & Bar, which was also owned by the Manno family – will seat up to 150 guests and offer private dining rooms which can be reserved in advance for parties and business dinners.
The mother and son duo have both taken on leadership roles within Buzzetta’s – Tony as the restaurant’s general manager and Lia as its executive chef. Lia, who has over 40 years of experience in the kitchen, has honed her skill set over the years from a combination of professional instruction and learning from other members of her family – including Sapore’s owner Paul Buzzetta.
Lia knows the value food and service can have not only on guests, but also on her loved ones – she brought her son Tony into the family business when he was just kid. “He started as a busser,” Lia says, and Tony adds that he “was making more than the waiters because I was such a cute little kid.” Tony, who was initially going to school to become a cartoonist, came to realize through the support of his family that he’d rather be in the restaurant business. “I’ve been in [restaurants] for a long time now … I enjoy talking with guests and seeing their impressions,” says Tony. Guest experience will be a top priority for the Buzzettas as it is for all the Manno family of restaurants, with many regulars already promising to visit to the family’s latest endeavor as soon as it opens its doors.
Buzzetta Italian Café plans to open in June, and will be open for dinner service Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Buzzetta Italian Café, 120 Chesterfield Valley Dr., Chesterfield, Missouri