Talia’s Tuscan Table
Chef Andrew Bennardo—affectionately known as chef Baba around the kitchen—supervises his house-made mozzarella as it completes its majestic metamorphosis from curd to brick, eventually melting the fully formed cheese atop pastas, pizzas, and other Italian dishes. He and his staff also nestle cured meats, gourmet cheeses, and crisp vegetables into an array of hero sandwiches named for Italian luminaries, such as Verdi, da Vinci, and Galileo. The eatery regales guests with eye-grabbing dinning environs, boasting a ceiling-mounted faux grape arbor and festive red, white, and green walls.
In addition to a robust Italian menu, chef Andrew has recently become well-versed in the ways of organic, whole-food, plant-based diets. After his daughter was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure and needed a double transplant, Andrew witnessed the power of a vegan, plant-based diet during his daughter's recovery. This inspired him to return to school to become certified in raw and vegan cuisine, as well as help open a juicing cafe, Juiceateria. Every Sunday afternoon, chef Andrew reveals his expert techniques in cooking classes, including juicing and organic vegetable and fruit with raw-cooking demonstrations. Assorted juice and smoothie samples are available throughout the class. Juice classes teach their benefits like boosting energy and the immune system, while giving the body a break from hard-to-digest fibers.