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Steve DiFillippo
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Steve DiFillippo is the consummate restaurateur. With his award-winning Davio’s brand firmly established in Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA and Foxborough, MA DiFillippo has tackled the modern Italian restaurant. DiFillippo’s reach continues to expand as his locations continue to garner critical acclaim and destination status.

After graduating from Boston University in 1982, Steve DiFillippo, owner of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse (Boston, Foxborough, Lynnfield, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Manhattan) and Davio’s Cucina (Chestnut Hill, MA), attended The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. During his college years, DiFillippo worked his way up the ladder at SeaSide, a popular bar and restaurant located in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. DiFillippo worked from the bottom up serving in all positions available and finally assumed the executive chef position once he graduated from culinary school.

In 1985, at the early age of 24, DiFillippo purchased his first restaurant: an existing spot named Davio’s. It would be here that DiFillippo would brand the name of Davio’s as synonymous with quality. Located at the up and coming end of Newbury Street in Boston’s trendy Back Bay, the original Davio’s was opened in 1977 as a family-owned Italian restaurant with local charm. As Boston’s culinary tastes began to develop and become more refined, DiFillippo transformed the location into fine dining destination. DiFillippo retooled the menu, the space, the wine list—injecting many reincarnations of his mother’s recipes into the menu. The new Davio’s garnered rave reviews for being “innovative, creative and bold.”

In 1999, DiFillippo opened Davio’s Philadelphia, where he introduced his Northern Italian Steakhouse to the City of Brotherly Love. Keeping the Davio’s favorites in tact, he added selections of all Natural Brandt Beef and Niman Ranch Pork. In the fall of 2002, DiFillippo re-located his Newbury Street restaurant to the former Paine Furniture Building in Park Square with ten thousand square feet of space. At this location, he introduced his enormous open kitchen concept and added an in-house bakery, which produces all of Davio’s breads, desserts and homemade ice cream.

In the fall of 2007, DiFillippo launched his popular Philly Cheese Steak Spring Roll® as a retail product. Today his product line offers unique Spring Rolls in a selection of flavors nationally. The growing product line is now available in 3,000 stores in 40 states across the country.

DiFillippo’s restaurants next expanded to the suburbs. With fine suburban dining beginning to take hold, DiFillippo was on the cutting edge of bringing quality destination dining from Boston to the surrounding cities and towns. Davio’s Patriot Place opened in August of 2008 and is the shining star of the Patriot Place complex. A site for pre and post-game entertaining, the location has also been drawing crowds from all surrounding communities.

DiFillippo opened Davio’s Atlanta in August of 2010 at Phipps Plaza in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, GA. In August of 2013, he opened in his hometown of Lynnfield, MA. His next venture is the opening of Davio’s Manhattan across from Grand Central Station.

DiFillippo attributes a great deal of his success to his involvement in the community, his need to evolve to meet new expectations, and the people he hires. In an industry that seems to be a revolving door, DiFillippo has many employees who have remained since he purchased his first Davio’s.

“I’m excited about bringing to life a vision I have had for several years to create an overall incredible experience for patrons across the spectrum: from authentic Mediterranean fare to upscale Northern Italian recipes. The addition of Davio’s Manhattan and Lynnfield as well as the new concept Davio’s Cucina in Chestnut Hill allows us to continue our efforts to ensure the quality experience we’re known for, which could not be possible without the great group of people I am fortunate to have in my Davio’s,” stated DiFillippo.

DiFillippo will publish his first book titled “It’s All About the Guest: Exceeding Expectations in Business and in Life, the Davio’s Way” in the Fall of 2013. The memoir and business book will feature advice for aspiring business owners and restaurateurs as well as twelve signature Davio’s recipes including Julia Child’s favorite Angel Hair Pomodoro.

DiFillippo is actively involved in many groups and boards including: Taste of the NFL, Rodman Ride for Kids; BUILD Inc., Raising-a-Reader of Massachusetts and The Boston Dining Alliance. In the fall of 2008, DiFillippo was inducted into the Massachusetts Restaurant Hall of Fame. He is a contributing Vice Chair of the Board of Overseers of the Anti-Defamation League, New England Region.

Entries by Steve DiFillippo

Stay Fresh or Die

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 12:54 PM

Let's say you've worked hard and built up a successful business. My advice to you: Change what you're doing! What!? Why?

Because every business has a shelf life. That's just the way life is -- especially these days, with markets and technology changing faster than ever. If you want to...

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Passion

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 12:55 PM

It's not normal to be so obsessed with food, but that's what you have to have to be in this business--obsessed. It's too difficult in too many ways to own a restaurant unless you possess a deep, undying passion for eating and feeding people. What's hard about it? The hours,...

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My Hot Dog Adventures

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 3:39 PM

We had come to watch a concert, but it wasn't long before I caught sight of that beautiful hot dog stand. I was thirteen, wearing a bright yellow Kingsmont t-shirt. I would have bought a dog right then, but they were strictly off limits. One of the counselors had made...

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Cover Your Ass-ets

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 3:28 PM

In 1988, I called up my accountant Stuart and asked his advice about a burning question I had. A lot of our Columbian kitchen staff who were already working 35 to 40 hours a week at our Boston restaurant wanted to work additional hours at our restaurant in neighboring Brookline,...

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Restaurant Miscues -- The Night When I Was the Biggest Problem

(1) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 9:32 PM

One night during the early 2000s, I was in my Boston restaurant making the usual rounds. The place was packed. The bartender pulled me over. "Steve, this bar guest wants to talk to you."
Awesome, I thought. I went over and introduced myself. The guest, a middle-aged man...

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Be Good -- and Protect Your Rep

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 4:17 PM

One morning, I opened up the Boston Globe and saw a headline that read something like, "Order Your Wine and Place Your Bet at Davio's!"

I almost had a heart attack.

Our sommelier, Frank, was a real character, a bit of a local celebrity. He always wore loud ties and...

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My Dinner With Julia: The Role of Mentors

(2) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 5:02 PM

As August 15 was Julia Child's birthday, I thought it fitting to tell the world about the time the great chef slept with me.

It happened in 1996. I pulled up to her house in Cambridge, Massachusetts to take her to a charity event we were attending in Providence. That...

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Forget Reality TV -- Respect Your Inner Guest!

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 6:02 PM

When I was 17, I got my first job as a doorman at Frankenstein's, a club that used to show old movies. The owners opened a new place called Play It Again, Sam's, and I went to work there as a bartender, too. Thursday nights were ladies' nights from 7:30...

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Our Veal Parm Story: A Cautionary Tale for the Brand-Conscious Entrepreneur

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 11:46 AM

I was in the restaurant one night working as an expeditor (bringing hot dishes to tables), and I noticed that our new server from the North End, Giuseppe, kept submitting orders for veal parm. It had been the same thing all week on tables Giuseppe served -- veal parm, veal...

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A Favor for a Friend: Some Thoughts on Business and Ego

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 3:49 PM

One night in 1997, I was working the door at Davio's on Newbury Street. We were packed and had a forty-five minute wait for a table. A guy came in, an attractive woman by his side. I had never seen this guy before, but as his female friend looked on,...

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Advice to Would-Be Business Owners: Get Out of the Kitchen!

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 5:20 PM

I'll never forget the time just after we opened our first Davio's restaurant on Boston's Newbury Street when I was working the door and a guest lights up this huge stogie. Remember, this was back in the 1980s, when you could smoke in restaurants. Still, a stogie? This was a...

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