A very short story about Italy, me, and staying true to yourself
I’m sending this update to let you know that Orofino—contrary to what it says on the business cards—is going to be closed on Sundays. But first, a story.
The reason my wife and I wanted to open an Italian restaurant as if it were picked up from the motherland from the roots and dropped into main street is because we wanted to share a real Italian experience with people; not a caricature of Italian kitsch. We want to take people on a journey with us back to the real Italy where I’m from and where my wife and I were married—the Italy that very few people get to see for themselves.
That initial spark of an idea exploded into reality in so many interesting and exciting ways for us. Those of you whom I’ve already welcomed to Orofino know that the menu reads like a culinary guidebook rather than merely a list of dishes. The art on the walls we had custom made to accurately depict scenes of Italian life and culture. And the staff, well, Roberto doesn’t even speak english yet! We’re as Italian as can be straight to the core. Our veins flow thick with chianti and carbonara.
Today was the first day that we served “brucina” or our version of brunch. We made waffles and fried eggs and everyone had a wonderful time. But I have to confess something to you guys. In Italy nobody eats breakfast. Sure, you might find a pastry and a cappuccino somewhere but you’d take it to go because nobody serves breakfast either. Even the word “brucina” is something that we made up that we thought might catch on because Fredericksburg has such a vibrant brunch scene. But when I saw those waffles and eggs make their way from the kitchen to the dining room it made me feel very dishonest. It wasn’t Italian. It was something else.
So now I’m going to be perfectly honest with you about Sundays. I’m going to close the restaurant on Sundays because that’s how the restaurants in Italy do it.
But I want to tell you something else. If you find yourself craving the authentic Orofino Italian experience on a Sunday then this is what you can do: be with your family and tell them you love them dal profondo del mio cuore—from the bottom of your heart. In Italy Sundays are for going to church, spending time with your family and being thankful. That’s what you’ll find me and my staff doing every week too. That’s real Italy.
I’ll see you again on Monday! Ciao bella e grazie mille!