Restaurants near me: Owner of Cincinnati restaurants credits father – The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Cristian Pietoso takes pride in offering an authentic Italian dining experience at his four Hamilton County restaurants.
Early next year, guests at Downtown’s Via Vite will have a new experience. They’ll be able to watch up close the pasta-making process, a viewing area that’ll be part of an upcoming remodeling at the Fountain Square restaurant.
Via Vite is scheduled to temporarily shut down on Jan. 8 to begin a planned monthlong remodeling, Pietoso told The Enquirer’s “That’s So Cincinnati” podcast. The restaurant will reopen in early February.
Via Vite originally opened as the anchor fine-dining restaurant on Fountain Square in 2007, and Pietoso said it’s time for a “refresh.”
“We’re redoing the entire restaurant – kitchen, bar, dining room, light fixtures, (outdoor) piazza bar, awnings, everything brand new,” Pietoso said. “We’re going to remodernize and make it super edgy again and feel exactly what it should be for a contemporary Italian restaurant smack in the middle of the city. It’s going to be beautiful.”
The pasta-making station will be behind glass near Via Vite’s main entrance, Pietoso added. The pasta served at his restaurants. which also include Nicola’s in Over-the-Rhine, Forno in Hyde Park and Montgomery, is made with flour and other ingredients imported from Italy.
Via Vite’s menu also will be overhauled, with a handful of favorites remaining, Pietoso said.
Other good things are happening for Pietoso’s restaurants.
Nicola’s, located at the corner of Sycamore and East Liberty streets, celebrated its 25th anniversary in April. Pietoso moved to Cincinnati from Italy in 2004 to work for his father’s eponymous restaurant. Nicola Pietoso began passing the ownership torch of the business to his son in 2012, when Cristian was handed the keys to Via Vite. 
The elder Pietoso opened Nicola’s a decade before Over-the-Rhine’s renaissance began. Cincinnati Magazine this year called Nicola’s “one of the city’s longest-standing fine dining restaurants,” and Cristian Pietoso called it a testament to his father’s hard work.
“He had nothing to lose,” Pietoso said of his father’s mentality leading up to the 1996 opening of Nicola’s. “He was a hungry immigrant who was willing to work hard. This is the beauty of this country. People call it the land of opportunity. The opportunity is there. You just need to chase it. Think about the incredible endurance that this guy had going through the challenges of being in that corner.”
Listen to “That’s So Cincinnati” for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast listening platforms. The episode is also available for free by clicking the link at the top of the article.

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