Passing the torch
While Angelo and Kathryn are still managing partners, Natale runs the day-to-day operations of the restaurant as the general manager, along with his younger brother Vittorio.
“In family businesses, there often is not that defined time of, ‘OK, now this is yours,’” Servino says. “Because I was born into it, there’s definitely been a generational shift, where the business is more in the hands of myself and my brother and we’re the curators of Servino for the next generation.”
He says he tries to keep a delicate balance between the old-world charm and modern features. “There’s a tremendous benefit to having people on board who can bring old-world knowledge, consistency and authenticity along with new ideas and cutting-edge trends,” Servino adds. “But I’m always trying to keep that balance.” More than anything, Servino wants the customers who have been visiting the restaurant since its beginning to recognize the brand when they walk in.
Classic and seasonal menus
“There are people who have grown up on the dishes we serve,” Servino says. “So, the menu balances classic, authentically Italian dishes with fresh ingredients.”
Being in northern California, Servino says, the location shares a similar climate to northern Italy, helping to ensure year-round access to fresh ingredients. “We have a menu that changes seasonally, and, we’re able to incorporate local, seasonal, organic products and prepare them in a way we would have back home in southern Italy, where my father is from.”
The menu is influenced by the restaurant’s seaside location as well. “We’ve incorporated a strong sustainable seafood program, taking advantage of local availability,” Servino says. “Since moving to the waterfront, seafood started to take a more predominant place on our menu. It just makes sense to have local sardines or local calamari with crisp, white wine on the patio.”