We recently sat down with Vittorio Viotti, the owner of Hostaria del Piccolo, a contemporary Italian restaurant with locations in Santa Monica and Venice, California. Hostaria is home to inspired pizzas, crafted with only the freshest ingredients. The menu offers unique choices from tuna and squid dough pizza to roasted duck ragu and features all four flavors of Wild Poppy Juice. During our visit, Vittorio shared his vision for his restaurants and let us in on what inspired him to become a fan of Wild Poppy Juice and include it on Hostaria’s menu back in 2011.
What inspires you? To improve every day. To give my best. And especially to do good with the restaurant. To make sure people are happy when they have lunch or dinner with us. To do good with our employees. To motivate them and push them to do better for themselves. Every day life improvement
How did you decide to open Hostaria? I was born and raised with pizza and that is why we opened Hostaria. When we decided to open Hostaria there was no Italian pizzeria on the Westside. That’s when we said we wanted to do something that we loved.
What’s your favorite, lunch or dinner?
Dinner. It could be anything as long it’s with good friends or family. Dinner is what glues together family and friendship.
How do you decide what to serve? We always try to do something that is a little different, with a little twist. Like our pizza with squid ink. We try to do something that will make people say “Wow!” At the end of the day we want to sell good food, food that people will remember and come back for.
How did you decide to sell Wild Poppy Juice?
It wasn’t a hard decision when I saw this beautiful product. Everything about Wild Poppy inspired me to have it in the restaurant. It’s organic. It’s California-made. I was very proud to get it right away and put it in our bar. The whole package – from the look of it to the taste of it – was very unique. And as a unique restaurant, we wanted a unique product like that with us.
What makes you a great restaurateur?
I don’t know if I’m great, but if I am it’s the relationship we have with our employees and the relationship we create with our customers. We believe the restaurant is about people – not about numbers – and we want people to feel like it’s home when they come in the restaurant – either working for us or eating in our place.
Hostaria del Piccolo is part of the Piccolo Group, a group of four award-winning chefs who own four LA-area restaurants. Besides Vittorio Viotti, the other chefs are Christian Bertolini, Bobo Ivan, and Germano Minin, who won on an episode of the Food Network’s Chopped.
Wild Poppy Stories is an online series of original anecdotes, interviews, photographic essays and videos profiling people who embody the spirit and authenticity of Wild Poppy.