Made-from-scratch menu features healthy meals

By Michelle Leonard

mleonard@woodburybulletin.com

Antonio Tettamanzi knows a thing or two about cooking. Well, that’s not really right. Tettamanzi knows a thing or two about creating delicious, mouthwatering culinary delights. 

Yes, that’s more like it. And Woodbury is the lucky recipient of the fruits of his labor, as Tettamanzi recently opened his newest restaurant, Osteria, at Prestwick Golf Club.

With the opening of Osteria – which means a place that serves wine and food – Tettamanzi brings more than 30 years of experience to Woodbury. 

A native of Milan, Italy, Tettamanzi started his career as a chef when he was just 14 years old. For three years as a teen, he participated in an “Iron Chef”-like competition in Japan. He graduated from Italian Culinary Institute, then went to Le Notre Pastry School in France. After that, he served two years in the military – part of which was as a sniper in Beruit.

It was 1985 when he first came to New York, after being invited to work for Donald Trump, at Trump Tower. Two years and two part-time, side jobs later, Tettamanzi found himself in Miami Beach. Iin 1988, he opened his first restraurant, Osteria Del Teatoo, in Miami.  Before long, Osteria Del Teatro became one of the trendiest spots around, a favorite of many celebrities.

“It turned out to be the best restaurant in South Flordia for a long time,” 

He eventually sold his half of Osteria Del Teatro to his partner. The restaurant remains open to this day, earmarked as the second oldest restaurant in the area. 

Tettamanzi found his way to Minnesota in 1998. He opened Tiramisu Italian Restaurant in Minnetonka, then opened five more restaurants in the years to come. His latest venture before taking over the restaurant at Prestwick was La Grolla, which was opened in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood in 2003. 

Ironically, at one point, he lived in Woodbury, in a home just off of Prestwick Golf Club.

“I used to come here with my kids,” he said. “I thought it was amazing. I always imagined opening a restaurant here.”

THE MENU

Tettamanzi takes pride in the menu he has at Osteria. He does not want to present meals that could be found in chain restaurants, and trains his staff to take pride in the meals they are creating for customers. 

He supports local growers, and has created a made-from-scratch menu that celebrates the natural flavors of the ingredients used in the meals. The menu also offers a number of healthy, gluten free meals. 

“I think it takes very little to make a meal healthy.” Tettamanzi said. “That’s the way you are raised in Italy. I don’t know any other way to do it.”

The one-page menu includes salads, appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, pasta and main dishes. But the simple labels do not come close to explaining the depth of flavor of meals, like the seafood risotto with shrimp, scallops, calarmari, mussels, clams, and fresh tomatoes; or the eggplant carpaccio, with grilled eggplant, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and croutons. 

Osteria opened earlier in May. So far, the lunch crowd has been mostly golfers, but the evenings and weekends are becoming quite popular. 

It is fun to see people coming in and appreciating what Osteria has to offer, Business Manager/Marketing Director Kerry D’Amato said. 

“That’s sort of the Italian way of life,” she said. “Laughing, eating, sharing… That’s what Antonio brings to Prestwick. It’s a way of life.”

As a chef, he does not spend as much time in the kitchen as he once did -- Tettamanzi still owns and operates La Grolla in St. Paul, and now has Osteria, as well. 

Besides, he’s got a new business venture coming soon. Tettamanzi is moving toward a restaurant consultant business called Art Chef Solutions, where he will work with struggling restauranteurs to help them restructure for success.