Everything about our story comes back to that one word. Our story started in Carini, Italy and our individual journeys have brought us all here to Richmond, Virginia. The family is back together again, and we are ready to share our passion for family and great food. From our Famiglia to yours…
Gaetano decided at the age of 16 to put aside his barber career and leave the family home in Carini, Italy to work with his Uncle Santino Cracchiolo at his family restaurant in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. Gaetano shared the family passion for cooking and in 2005, opened Santino’s South Side as a partner with his two uncles, Santino and Antonio.
Filippo followed his brother’s footsteps a few short years later and came to America at the age of 15. Filippo moved to Muncy, Pennsylvania to work at another family restaurant owned by his cousin, Frank. For six years, Filippo was a key member to the growth and success of Frank’s restaurant.
Annalisa was born and raised here in Richmond, Virginia. Annalisa was raised from the age of two in her parents’ restaurant, Pino’s Pizza. From the early age of 13, Annalisa mastered every area in the restaurant until she was running the family business by the age of 20.
Filippo and Annalisa met at family gatherings in Pennsylvania. Their families knew each other as they were from the same small town of Carini, Italy. The moment Filippo met Annalisa, he knew that she was the woman he wanted to marry. At the age of 21, Filippo moved to Richmond, Virginia to be with Annalisa. Here he worked for Annalisa’s family restaurant, Pino’s Pizza, for two years. In 2007, Filippo and Annalisa opened their first restaurant, Pizza Express Westend. The following year they were married. In 2013, Annalisa and Filippo opened their second restaurant, Pesce & Vino, a successful fine dining Italian seafood restaurant. They had their first daughter, Giulia, in 2011 and Vanessa, their second daughter, was born in 2015.
Kristi, born and raised in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, grew up watching her father cook for the family and also at a local restaurant. At the age of 16, Kristi was introduced to Filippo and began to work together at the family restaurant in Muncy. Filippo and Kristi became friends instantly and Kristi was taught how to cook all the dishes with the "amore familiar", family love. Filippo and Kristi spent many late nights and days off with brother Gaetano cooking and enjoying family dinners. In 2004, after graduating culinary school, Kristi moved to California to pursue her passion for cooking. A passion that was instilled in her by the three men she admires, Filippo, Gaetano, and her father.
While Filippo and Annalisa were building their family and life here in Richmond, Virgina, Gaetano continued to have a successful business and career as a owner at Santino’s in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania for fifteen years. Now as the Executive Chef of Casa Italiana, Gaetano is bringing Richmond the true, authentic cuisine of our home.
In California, Kristi was able to build a successful career as well. By the age of 26, she had already helped define the concept and cuisine of Los Angeles’ Murano Restaurant & Lounge and had been named one of LA’s top chefs. In the years following, Kristi served as Corporate Chef for the Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop restaurants, Executive Chef for Tahoe’s iconic West Shore Café, and as a sought-after private chef.
Reunited again, we look forward to sharing our family and home with others. From the food, atmosphere and overall experience, we want our guests to feel at home and part of our family.