For our next Chef’s series we would love to feature Nick Guantone @guantonioswoodfired and the entire Guantone family. Much like our family the Guantone’s had to jump through many local bureaucratic hoops to make their dream of opening a restaurant complete. To top that off; their grand opening last year drew a flagrant foul by the Covid team but the persistent Guantone’s adapted and have delivered a fantastic addition to Lodi’s restaurant scene. Without a formal interview I’m pretty sure Nick Jr. would give much of his love of the culinary arts to his upbringing and his mother and father, Shelly & Nick Sr. who both would tell you their fondest memories are in a kitchen or around a supper table. Nick then went on to find a baking ninja warrior of a wife in Marissa to put the icing on their cake (pun intended). His two sisters Natalie & Jessica hold down the front of the restaurant making this truly a family affair, something our family can really relate to as well. Anyone who knows Nick knows opening a restaurant has been a dream of his for decades. When you open your fridge and stare at 5 ingredients while complaining there is nothing to eat; Nick is the type to make those into a unique signature dish. Whenever I travel to a new state or city I shoot Nick a text asking what food joints I should hit up and he never disappoints. He has always been well traveled throughout the US culinary scene absorbing tiny recipe ideas from every foodie hot spot he ventures. Guantonio’s are known for their wood fired pizza pies but don’t visit without trying their sides, salads and small bites on an ever-changing seasonal menu. If it’s in season and Nick can find it local, it will be a creative appetizing twist at Guantonio’s. We try hard to put quality over quantity at Calivirgin which fit the Guantone family’s standard for fresh local produce and ingredients. We have always been honored to supply them with fresh extra virgin olive oil. Whenever I experiment with a unique olive variety I always let Nick weigh in with his opinion. This year Guantonio’s is featuring a “Fresh White” pizza topped with stracciatella cheese, shaved matsutake mushrooms and a healthy drizzle of Calivirgin extra virgin Olio Nuovo fresh from the olive mill.
Check out their instagram page @guantonioswoodfired and website www.guantonios.com for full menu and more details!