As the North Alton community continues to progress with local businesses, Alfio Sciacca (SHA-KA) and his family decided to join in on the growth and open a new carry-out restaurant located at 2510 B State Street.
La Mia Cucina, “My Kitchen” in Italian, opened its doors in mid-October of 2014. Their cuisine consists of the authentic Italian dishes from the Alfio’s childhood.
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“Our food that we serve here is traditional southern Italian food, with some of the world’s flavor,” said Alfio. “I try to stick with the most original recipe, not Americanized recipes, but true traditional Italian.”
Born in Sicily, Italy, Alfio moved to the U.S. as a young musician with an ambition for fame.
“I was an artist when I was younger and music is what brought me to this country originally,” said Alfio. “Wrigley Field in Chicago is where I started working in a restaurant, which was my welcome to this country.”
Alfio worked in a restaurant in Wrigley Field for seven years before starting his own restaurant business in Lincoln Park. After spending many years in Chicago, Alfio moved here to the outskirts of St. Louis where he started a family and began working at the Winchester plant. When Winchester plant began moving their company to Mississippi, Alfio and his wife Tiffany began brainstorming about opening their own restaurant here in Alton.
“I love this area, it is a lot quieter than Chicago but I love it,” said Alfio. “Especially this north side here in Alton.”
Alfio’s plan is to cook for the families of others. His goal is to make it easier on parents to provide a family dinner around the kitchen table.
“We want to bring dinner back to the table,” said Alfio.
Upon entry, customers are greeted with a wide variety of flavorful dishes from focaccia cotoletta (chicken breast with spinach panini) to cheese ravioli set in savory crab sauce. After choosing a cuisine, the Sciacca family wraps it up in to-go containers and sends you on your way. This way, all the prep work for dinner is done: take it home, heat it up and voila, dinner is served.
Alfio believes the tradition of eating dinner together at home as a family is important.
“I have realized that a lot of people are not accustomed to eating dinner at the table these days,” said Alfio. “By having two teenagers of my own, I realized how much kids don’t have the family meal anymore. Some of them didn’t even know how to use a fork in my house.”
Alfio and his wife run the business but Alfio says his daughters are often there helping out as well.
“I like to enjoy my time with my kids and wife,” said Alfio. “Working together in this business will give us the opportunity to do that.”
Eventually, Alfio hopes to offer his ingredients sold separately, so that those wanting to cook the food on their own can have the opportunity to do so. With his variety of genuine sauces and fresh homemade pastas, the goal is to be able to go home and throw it together to cook in only 10 minutes.
“I believe in what I do and I am trying to be as honest to the recipe as I can, considering what I have to work with here,” said Alfio. “All the food that you try here is food that we eat. I am very meticulous about what we serve, that is my reputation.”
Alfio said he also tries to keep the prices low enough so that anyone can enjoy it, not just those with extra money to eat out all the time.
“We don’t have all that snazzy of a restaurant with fancy lighting and whatnot, so we can have low prices like this,” said Alfio. “It’s just me, my wife and my kids, I am kind of old fashioned like that.”
La Mia Cucina is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Phone: (618) 466-6449
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