Northeast Times

Twice as nice

Adriano Ciocca recently opened his second restaurant.

Here’s the dish: Ad­ri­ano Ciocca stands in Cu­cina Itali­ana, loc­ated at By­berry Road and Bustleton Av­en­ue. His new­est es­tab­lish­ment is Sim­patico! loc­ated a few minutes away in Hunt­ing­don Val­ley. MARIA POUCH­NIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

For Ad­ri­ano Ciocca, be­ing raised in an Itali­an house­hold and fol­low­ing his in­stincts fostered a dream of own­ing an Itali­an res­taur­ant. And at 33, Ciocca’s dream es­sen­tially has doubled. He now owns two Itali­an res­taur­ants.

Ad­ri­ano’s Cu­cina Itali­ana is loc­ated in Somer­ton at the in­ter­sec­tion of By­berry Road and Bustleton Av­en­ue, and his new es­tab­lish­ment Sim­patico! — a BY­OB — is loc­ated just a few minutes away in Hunt­ing­don Val­ley on Hunt­ing­don Pike.

Grow­ing up, Ciocca reg­u­larly made homemade pas­tas, wine and to­mato sauce as well as spe­cialty meats in­clud­ing pros­ciutto and capi­c­ola. And his early culin­ary ex­per­i­ences were sup­ple­men­ted by work­ing at his god­fath­er’s pizzer­ia from ages 15 to 20.

“It’s all about the cul­ture and fam­ily up­bring­ing,” Ciocca said. “It all cor­rel­ates.”

Moreover, Ciocca said that Itali­an food is a piece of cul­ture any­one can re­late to — Itali­an or not — be­cause of the over­all arch­ing pres­ence of Itali­an cul­ture in the United States. Itali­an food, ac­cord­ing to Ciocca, is en­joyed be­cause of its fresh­ness but also be­cause of its au­then­ti­city and homemade qual­ity.  

Today, as the own­er of two res­taur­ants, Ciocca in­cor­por­ates and un­der­lines the im­port­ant cul­tur­al staple of homemade dishes in the menus of both loc­a­tions.

But homemade dishes are just one part of an over­all sense of fa­mili­ar­ity Ciocca cul­tiv­ates in the at­mo­sphere and cus­tom­er ser­vice of both es­tab­lish­ments.

“When you come in, you know who I am [and ex­per­i­ence] friendly staff and good ser­vice, but most im­port­antly a neigh­bor­hood feel,” Ciocca said.

In fact, Ciocca main­tains that the cent­ral re­wards of the res­taur­ant busi­ness reside in the rap­port that is de­veloped with cus­tom­ers over the years. For ex­ample, cus­tom­ers of­ten will hold fam­ily parties or oth­er events at his es­tab­lish­ments, then will reach out to Ciocca again to hold an­oth­er event.

“It’s not even about the busi­ness,” Ciocca said. “You de­vel­op a re­la­tion­ship, a friend­ship with the cus­tom­er, and that is very, very crit­ic­al.”

Moreover, in op­er­at­ing both res­taur­ants, Ciocca em­phas­izes stay­ing sharp.

“You have to be in­nov­at­ive,” Ciocca said. “You have to be on top of everything.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ciocca, this in­cludes everything from avidly read­ing vari­ous res­taur­ant magazines and cook­books to also vis­it­ing Italy to ob­serve the latest trends; Ciocca last vis­ited Italy in May.

“You have to be aware of your sur­round­ings and be a voice for your cus­tom­ers and your em­ploy­ees,” Ciocca said.

In do­ing so, both res­taur­ants al­low Ciocca and his staff to provide the same of­fer­ings of good prices, great ser­vice, qual­ity homemade food and a deep ded­ic­a­tion to cus­tom­er care with the be­ne­fit of serving and branch­ing out in­to dif­fer­ent areas.

“We’re do­ing great over there [Sim­patico!], and we’re do­ing great at Ad­ri­ano’s,” Ciocca said. “It’s re­ward­ing.”

In­di­vidu­als can fol­low both res­taur­ants on Face­book to ob­tain in­form­a­tion on up­dates and spe­cials. ••

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