Steve DiFillippo is the consummate restaurateur. With his award-winning Davio’s brand firmly established in Atlanta, Boston, Chestnut Hill, Lynnfield, Manhattan, Philadelphia and Foxborough, DiFillippo has tackled the modern Italian restaurant. DiFillippo’s reach continues to expand as his locations continue to garner critical acclaim and destination status.
After graduating from Boston University in 1982, Steve DiFillippo, owner of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, attended The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. During his college years, DiFillippo worked his way up the ladder at SeaSide, a popular bar and restaurant located in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. DiFillippo worked from the bottom up serving in all positions available and finally assumed the executive chef position once he graduated from culinary school. In 1985, at the early age of 24, DiFillippo purchased his first restaurant: an existing spot named Davio’s. It would be here that DiFillippo would brand the name of Davio’s as synonymous with quality. Located at the up and coming end of Newbury Street in Boston’s trendy Back Bay, the original Davio’s was opened in 1977 as a family-owned Italian restaurant with local charm. As Boston’s culinary tastes began to develop and become more refined, DiFillippo transformed the location into fine dining destination. DiFillippo retooled the menu, the space, the wine list—injecting many reincarnations of his mother’s recipes into the menu. The new Davio’s garnered rave reviews for being “innovative, creative and bold.”
In 1999, DiFillippo opened Davio’s Philadelphia, where he introduced his Northern Italian Steakhouse to the City of Brotherly Love. Keeping the Davio’s favorites in tact, he added selections of all Natural Brandt Beef and Niman Ranch Pork. In the fall of 2002, DiFillippo re-located his Newbury Street restaurant to the former Paine Furniture Building in Park Square with ten thousand square feet of space. At this location, he introduced his enormous open kitchen concept and added an in-house bakery, which produces all of Davio’s breads, desserts and homemade ice cream.
In the fall of 2007, DiFillippo launched his popular Philly Cheese Steak Spring Roll® as a retail product. Today his product line offers unique Spring Rolls in a selection of flavors nationally. The growing product line is now available in 3,000 stores in 40 states across the country.
DiFillippo’s restaurants next expanded to the suburbs. With fine suburban dining beginning to take hold, DiFillippo was on the cutting edge of bringing quality destination dining from Boston to the surrounding cities and towns. Davio’s Patriot Place opened in August of 2008 and is the shining star of the Patriot Place complex. A site for pre and post-game entertaining, the location has also been drawing crowds from all surrounding communities.
DiFillippo opened Davio’s Atlanta in August of 2010 at Phipps Plaza in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, GA. In June of 2013, Davio’s Chestnut Hill was opened at THE STREET and August of 2013, he opened in his hometown of Lynnfield, MA at MarketStreet. Davio’s Manhattan, was opened November of 2013 across from Grand Central Terminal on Lexington Avenue.
DiFillippo attributes a great deal of his success to his involvement in the community, his need to evolve to meet new expectations, and the people he hires. In an industry that seems to be a revolving door, DiFillippo has many employees who have remained since he purchased his first Davio’s.
DiFillippo published his first book titled “It’s All About the Guest: Exceeding Expectations in Business and in Life, the Davio’s Way” Fall of 2013. The memoir and hospitality book features business advice for aspiring restaurateurs and chefs as well as twelve signature Davio’s recipes including Julia Child’s favorite Angel Hair Pomodoro. The book received a Red Star by Publisher’s Weekly which indicates a book of outstanding quality.
“A veritable handbook for anyone considering opening their own restaurant, DiFillippo pulls back the curtain to share his experiences—good and bad—and offers specific, distilled advice… Anyone seriously considering entering the restaurant or hospitality business would do well to spend some time with DiFillippo’s entertaining and insightful book.” – Publishers Weekly.
DiFillippo is actively involved in many groups and boards including: Taste of the NFL, Best Buddies, Rodman Ride for Kids; BUILD Inc., Raising-a-Reader of Massachusetts and The Boston Dining Alliance. He is a member of The Great Boston Food Bank’s Board of Advisors. In the fall of 2008, DiFillippo was inducted into the Massachusetts Restaurant Hall of Fame and in 2014 he was awarded Restaurateur of the Year. He is a contributing Vice Chair of the Board of Overseers of the Anti-Defamation League, New England Region and as a member of the Board of Governors he has co-chaired the annual Working Wonders Gala & Fundraiser for Tufts Medical Center.