“Cibo, Vino, Amici” (Food, Wine, Friends) is the motto Antonio Laudisio has followed faithfully over the course of 20-plus years in the food service industry. His landmark restaurant, Laudisio’s, has long satisfied the hunger, thirst, and loneliness of Boulder locals and visitors alike with authentic Italian cuisine, fine wines, and an atmosphere that is at once inviting and comfortable.
Laudisio’s menu includes applewood-fired pizzas baked in onsite wood burning ovens, seasonal offerings sourced locally whenever possible, and a delectable wine and dessert list, making for a delicious array that could put a warm smile on the face of even the most strident critic.
“Italian cooking is ingredient centric,” he says. “I like to run a proletariat kitchen, where you let the ingredients speak for themselves and the cook takes his ego out of it.”
Food and wine may make up two thirds of the words in the Laudisio motto, but anyone who has spent time with Antonio knows that friendship and community come first in his book. “The challenge of all business is how we treat our employees and the community. We’ve been living in a CEO-take-all culture that is subject to the tyranny of the cash register. I think it’s more important to close the circle with the community.”
Laudisio’s commitment to sourcing locally means he serves the freshest ingredients possible while also supporting local business and agriculture. The restaurant is also committed to an environmentally sustainable business model that is progressive even for a Boulder restaurant: waste is composted or recycled; energy efficient dishwashing units, compostable to-go containers, waterless urinals, and natural lighting all reduce the operation’s energy use.
But perhaps his biggest contribution to the community is the gathering space at the restaurant. Long famous for its extended Happy Hour and extremely friendly staff, Laudisio’s is a place where the people of Boulder can congregate and enjoy the pleasure of their mutual company.
“Especially during tough times, it’s important to have a refuge, and I think it’s important to nurture our customers,” says Antonio. His patrons know exactly what he’s talking about.