More than fifty years ago, in the heart of Tuscany, a woman named Rinetta lovingly crafted handmade Taglietelle from her kitchen overlooking the peaceful village of Vecchiano Pisa. Family and friends became so fond of this fresh made pasta that the village, in true Italian form, came together to enjoy entire meals centered on this incredibly talented woman and her irresistible pasta.

Pasta, however, was not the only thing being created in that kitchen many decades ago, but also a strong tradition was quickly being formed that continued for years and even generations to come. What was intended to be simple batches of pasta, turned out to be the foundation of a family dedicated to the passion of food and cooking for others.

Two generations later this passion for incredible food is still going strong; now in the form of the woman’s grandson, known throughout Italy as an accomplished restaurateur. Her grandson, Alessandro Andreoni, used the memories of his grandmother’s kitchen from so many years ago to create two restaurants, one in the Alps of Northern Italy and one on the island of Sardegna. Alessandro enjoyed many years of great success in both restaurants, but realized that something was still missing. As he thought back to the vision of the joy it brought his grandmother each time a new guest tried her Taglietelle, he realized that he must reach further to spread his passion and life’s work to a whole new audience. He knew immediately that this reach must cross the Atlantic to bring authentic Italian food, wine, and culture to the people of America.

Months later, Alessandro’s dream of a restaurant in America became possible as Andrea, a friend and regular guest of Alessandro’s restaurants, described his idea of a revolutionary concept featuring a restaurant, market, and cantina all under one roof. After living in the United States for five years, Andrea described a wonderful place to live with incredible people who desperately craved the food and the cultural experience of authentic Italy. Together they discussed their wives travels in America and how evident the need for good food and quality ingredients to be accessible for everyone, not just those that could travel to Italy.

Alessandro’s dream was so close that he could imagine the joy of serving his grandmother’s recipes to thousands of new guests in the heartland of America. Alessandro decided to visit the wonderful city of Ames, where Andrea introduced Alessandro & his wife Elisabetta to two other friends. These native Iowan brothers, Michael and Brian, who shared the same passion for authentic Italian food, wine, and culture, would prove to be the final piece of making this dream a reality. Brian, an accomplished professional chef, proved his skill by making traditional risotto and hand made fresh pasta. After tasting the pasta, Alessandro was instantly taken back to the days in his grandmother’s kitchen, making it clear that with Brian, his dream of a restaurant in America could become a reality.

The two instantly bonded and discussed their shared vision for bringing authentic Italian food, wine and culture to Ames. For many days they worked together to realize how they, as a team, could create an unmatched culinary concept for guests to feel as if they had been transported to Italy just by setting foot inside the door. To further progress the dream, Brian traveled back to Italy with Alessandro working together in his restaurants and continually forming the shape of their dream. Brian continued his adventure in Italy for many months as he traveled to the premier food regions, picking up ideas, recipes, and experience from each place he visited. As Alessandro and Brian developed their culinary design, the rest of the group worked to ensure the success of their vision. Elisabetta worked to assemble a list of quality retail products specially selected for the American food enthusiast, while Michael worked on the development and construction of the one-of-a-kind building that would be the seamless cornerstone of conveying the group’s message of authentic Italian culinary culture.

The beautiful concept you see today, brought to you as +39 Restaurant, Market, & Cantina, embodies the passion of each of your hosts. From the beauty of Betta’s market, to Mike’s welcoming layout, and most importantly the authentic food and wine combinations provided by Ale and Brian; every scent, every sound, and every taste is intended to give you a glimpse into the beautiful world of Italian culture.

+39 Italian Restaurant, Market & Cantina  |   Ames, IA

Copyright 2020