Food is first, along with great hospitality and wine in a relaxed atmosphere. My school of thought is for diners to have a great experience – feeling always welcome and always excited to come back – to surprise them with each visit and to bring them what I experience myself when visiting the great region of Piemonte.
In 1998, Aldo Zaninotto’s dream first came true with the opening of a restaurant he could call his own – Savarin, in Chicago’s River North neighborhood – in collaboration with well-known Chef John Hogan, previously Chef at Kiki’s Bistro.
Aldo was born and raised in Europe (Belgium and Italy) from first generation Italian parents who were key to the introduction of traditional Italian gastronomy in Belgium. Essentially born in a restaurant, Aldo felt his parents’ passion through their business, and his destiny was clear.
Graduating with honors from one of the top restaurant schools in Europe, CERIA, gave Aldo an opportunity to work with some of the best 1 and 2 star restaurants in Brussels, involved in all aspects of the business while learning from the best, front and back of the house.
In 1988, Aldo landed in New York City where he worked exclusively with some of the top fine dining restaurants in the city, such as San Domenico and Le Perigord. Next, he made his way to Los Angeles, where, over 4 years, he worked at the very best of Los Angeles: L’Orangerie; La Toque; Fleur de Vin; Celestino; Patina.
Invited in 1994 to Chicago by The Carlucci Group to run their flagship restaurant, Carlucci’s, as manager, Aldo was soon promoted to General Manager. In 1996, he became the General Manager for what would become Ditka’s.
In 2013 Aldo Zaninotto met Cameron Grant. The dream is again coming true.