“I love restaurants. I love building new restaurants. I like meeting new people and I like training new teams and changing people's lives,” says Steve DiFillippo, the passionate owner, chef, and restaurateur behind Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. With now 11 Davio’s locations around the country, DiFillippo is finally bringing his diverse menu and high-quality hospitality to the DMV.
Davio’s is set to open in a 13,000-square-foot space in Metro Plaza and will serve lunch, dinner, and weekend brunches. The interior will feature 350 table seats, a 32-seat bar, and five private dining rooms, perfect for hosting events. The new eatery will open on Wednesday, Nov. 2 for dinner service.
The Northern Italian steakhouse theme sets Davio’s apart from other steakhouses because of its lengthy menu that combines premium steaks, fresh seafood and homemade pasta.
“I grew up in an Italian family, so we make all our pasta fresh here. We cook it to order and there’s a huge Italian side of this restaurant. But we also have an amazing steak side too. So we're kind of like a hybrid restaurant… we're blessed that we have three really amazing things here, seafood, steak and Italian.” says DiFillippo.
Menu highlights include Davio’s signature Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls, oven-baked lump crab cakes, hand-rolled potato gnocchi, truffle butter and tagliatelle bolognese, braised veal, Atlantic salmon, and center-cut filet mignon, among many others.
While each Davio’s location has menu items in common, the Reston Station restaurant will be the only one to offer tableside Caesar salad.
“So we bring over a Caesar salad cart, and we'll make Caesar salad right at the table. The dressings [and salad are] made right in front of you. So that's kind of a cool old thing from back in the day, but we've kind of brought it back and it's amazing,” says DiFillippo.
Any Caesar salad aficionado will love the front-row view of the process and the ability to observe what ingredients are being added. The restaurant has a large open kitchen so guests will also be able to watch their meal preparations that way.
When asked what his perfect Davio’s meal is, DiFillippo couldn’t choose just one.
“Well, you know, there is no perfect meal, in my opinion. Whatever you feel like having you can pretty much be happy because we have such a huge menu.”
Meatballs are crafted from his family’s recipe, spring rolls come in three unique flavorful varieties (like buffalo chicken and chicken parmesan), pasta is handmade to order, and burgers are one of the restaurant’s claims to fame. Davio’s has attentive service and an approachable menu making it easy for guests to swing by for a quick bite or reserve a table for an important event.
While he makes it look easy, DiFillippo has been hustling to create quality restaurants for over 35 years. He began his Davio’s journey in 1985 when he purchased a small family-run restaurant in Boston’s Back Bay, called Davio’s. He revamped the menu and served as the chef while he transformed the small restaurant into a destination for fine wines, homemade cuisine, and an Instagram-worthy backdrop.
As he’s grown the restaurant group, he has remained as involved as possible. He has no firm office and constantly travels between Davio’s locations to chat with team members, field problems and train new staff members.
“I think it's important that restaurateurs are in their restaurants with their inner guests [their employees] and with their outer guests [their customers,]” says DiFillippo.
“I'm in the kitchen. I'm running around, you know bussing tables, whatever I have to do, seating people, and that's what makes the restaurant, I think, fresh and run well when you have a great team. I'm part of the team just like everybody else.”
For aspiring restaurateurs, DiFilippo recommends taking a hard look at all the costs associated with running a restaurant. For instance, how much will an ice maker cost, how much will it cost to train and maintain each staff member, and how much will it cost to procure quality ingredients? Also, to check out his book "It's All About The Guest."
“If you're passionate about this thing and love this business. I think go for it. “
Dinner service will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and will be served Monday - Wednesday from 5 - 10 p.m., Thursday & Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Lunch service will begin on Thursday, Nov. 3, and will be available on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm.
Brunch service will begin on Sunday, November 6th, and will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sundays only.
The bar menu will be available Sunday - Wednesday until 11:00 p.m. and Thursday - Saturday until midnight.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse is located at 1902 Reston Metro Plaza, Suite 100, Reston, Virginia 20190. For reservations, call 888.955.4810.
Celebrate the grand opening of Davio’s Reston on Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Photography by: Briana Moore / Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse