For most foodies in Boston, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse has become a beloved white-tablecloth classic, along with the Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel and Hammersley’s Bistro. Now, 25 years into its tenure as a top dining destination, Davio’s is having something of a renaissance. This summer marked the opening of two new locations in addition to his Chestnut Hill spot—one in Manhattan and another in Lynnfield. Chestnut Hill’s Davio’sCucina connects to the plush Showcase SuperLux theater, so now you can order handmade tagliatelle with Davio’s legendary Bolognese sauce or the signature Philly cheese steak spring rolls while watching the latest flick. But what connects the restaurant’s storied past to the present day expansion is the owner himself, Steve DiFillippo. He unravels that thread in his new memoir, It’s All About the Guest, which debuts in October.
In the book DiFillippo reveals some of his secret family recipes and recounts how he grew up in the kitchens of his mother and aunts and nanas—both Portuguese and Italian. The book contains the same charm, warmth, and self-deprecating humor as the author himself. He tells the little-known story of his stint at a weight loss camp, trying to make the weight limit for Pop Warner football during his childhood in Lynnfield, and how he savored his one pleasurable meal during those few weeks—a hot dog he purchased on the sly. Eventually DiFillippo worked his way from coffee clerk to head chef, gaining the knowledge, at age 24, to take over a dying restaurant on Newbury Street—Davio’s—and make it one of Boston’s favored spots for nearly a quarter century. 75 Arlington St., 617-357-4810; Davio’sCucina, 55 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-738-4810