Bruno Viscovi came to America at the age of fourteen from the hillside town of Albona, overlooking the Istrian Peninsula and the Adriatic Sea, located just southeast of Trieste near the borders of Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. His family fled a shattered continent after World War II and settled in North Beach, the old Italian neighborhood in San Francisco. It was here that he discovered the food service industry, a skinny kid working twelve-hour shifts scrubbing pots and pans and serving tables at various restaurants.
Immigrant insularity was not to be Bruno's fate, however, and for years his culinary passion has led him searching through the Bay Area markets on his hunts for the freshest ingredients he can find. For the last 18 years , Bruno has managed to marry this encyclopedic grasp of this local environment with the palatable imprints of his youthful origin.
Since arriving in San Francisco in 1951, he has worked in numerous restaurants in the Bay Area and owned a trattoria in the Marina district for nine years. When Bruno decided to open this restaurant in 1988, he was determined to recreate the haunting flavors of his childhood and the memori
es of his palate are distinctively expressed with the only Istrian Menu on the West Coast.
In May of 2008, after twenty years of proudly introducing to countless diners the flavors of his distinctive origin, Bruno decided it was time to hang up his apron, and he passed the torch of ownership to his Executive Chef, Samuel Hernandez, who had worked with him since 1997. Samuel and Beatriz, his wife and Pastry Chef, have taken the challenge of maintaining the legacy of the Istrian cuisine by continuing to prepare and to serve the dishes that originated far away and long ago, since the time of Bruno's childhood in Albona.