The Journey to Fiamico
Looking for opportunities in unfamiliar places is not new for my family. My parents met and fell in love in Buenos Aires, Argentina following the Second World War after both of their families left Italy to pursue a life in a country where free trade and democracy were valued.
Argentina will always have a special place in my heart. It’s where I grew up watching my father and uncles establish a small chain of Gelato and Pastry shops, “Avgvstvs”, and where my passion for artisanal food was born. When I was sixteen, my father gathered the courage, left the comfort of an established business and moved our family to America, sharing with me his dream of having a shop in the world’s greatest land of free trade the United States.
2012 will mark 40 years since my parents took a chance in pursuit of their dream.
As with any journey ours was met with struggles, but with the support of family, determination, chance encounters and a helping hand, we turned uncertainty into a legacy. While working at Florsheim Shoes and saving as much money as they could, my father opened our first Pizzeria in River Forest, IL, River Pizza. He would make shoes by day and then come to the Pizzeria to watch over my cousins and I as we did our best to flip dough and serve up some authentic Italian pizza.
His next opportunity came in the form of a space for rent on the corner of State St. and Randolph in downtown Chicago. Seeing this as a better opportunity, we sold the Pizzeria and started a Gourmet Popcorn and Ice Cream Shop. With fond memories and a heavy heart we closed “Lisa Chicago” on State St, shortly after my father’s passing when the building was purchased and torn down.
From there I ventured to the city of Wheaton, IL, where I had a dream of my own, to open an Italian Trattoria and serve up my family’s recipes. As fate would have it, a chance encounter with an old friend, allowed my vision to become a reality with “Trattoria Sergino’s”. In Wheaton we served our authentic Italian food for over a decade. After closing our doors in 2001, I thought I would try my hand at something else and leave the restaurant business behind. But, as with any passion, it began to nag at me the longer I was away. Over the past ten years I have yet to find anything quite like this business to fulfill my soul.
So in 2010, along with the help of family and friends, I embarked on a journey back to doing what I do best, creating authentic regional dishes, prepared with fresh ingredients and served with love. And once again we ventured to an unfamiliar place, Waukegan, IL. Call it a feeling or intuition, but when we saw the Lighthouse on the corner of Grand and Sheridan, we knew we found a great place to begin again.
Sometimes the best things in life are the most basic.
La semplicità è bellezza. Keeping it Simple is the essence of Italian food. Here at Fiamico we have merged our two cultures combining the flame of the Italian Spirit and the warmth of the American soul. It is our greatest pleasure to share with you not only the best of our heritage but… “The Best of Life’s Ingredients”
Welcome to Fiamico!