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Westlake Village, CA
Food & Hospitality
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Work Culture at Novo Cafe
As a young child growing up in Florence, Italy, my family members used to call me "il buon gustaio," which translates to "One who wholeheartedly enjoys Food!" They said it was a pleasure to see me eat during our family meals – and I would always make them hungry just by watching me.
It was easy to enjoy food growing up in a big Italian family where everything was cooked from scratch and made with love. But when I left Florence and started traveling the world, it was hard to find the good, simple Italian food that I knew so well back home. I discovered various cultures and cuisines in casual, well-priced restaurants that were warm and inviting, but when it came to basic Italian fare I could not find the same.
When I came to America, what was called "Italian" always seemed to be heavy on garlic and cheese and it often described dishes and recipes we don't even have back in my country. If I wanted good Italian food, I realized I had to go to the more hip and expensive parts of town, where I found the food was often overhyped and overpriced. I craved the Mom and Pop trattoria where you could eat delicious Italian food that tasted home-cooked and for a price that didn't give you indigestion.
That's how Novo Café came about. "Novo" translates to "New" from the Italian dialect of my hometown – and it's this new concept of great-tasting, fresh, house-made Italian food at a reasonable price that I want to introduce. At Novo Café, our pasta is prepared from scratch in our open kitchen before being cooked to perfection, with every ingredient added in just the right amount. We make every pizza, panini and salad the same way.
Novo Café is for those like me who enjoy great, authentic Italian food in a nice, welcoming environment at a price you can afford, simple as that.