Team Work Dream Work
By June Naylor
Loveria owners Andrea Matteucci and Stefania Bertozzi spread their love of authentic Italian cooking to a wider audience with the opening of Spuntino
The search for a perfect espresso, or the quest for handmade pasta with authentic Bolognese sauce expertly paired with a glass of wine from Piedmont or Veneto, leads to one place in Colleyville: Loveria Caffe. You can thank Andrea Matteucci and Stefania Bertozzi for saving you the plane fare to Italy.
The husband-wife team, who hail from Italy’s celebrated gastronomy region of Emilia-Romagna, moved here five years ago hoping to open a restaurant. They found friendly people and an affordable place to raise their two children. All that was missing was a true taste of home.
The couple eventually settled on a spot in Colleyville for their trattoria. The menu features family recipes and other traditional dishes made by chefs under their guidance, always with fresh ingredients, some imported from Italy. As Matteucci and Bertozzi are professional architects, the restaurant’s design also reflects their aesthetics.
“Italian food and wine can be considered as part of a whole culture,” says Bertozzi. “Lifestyle, landscapes, biodiversity, heritage, history, and so on, have impacted and built the Italian food culture, which we are in love with. We like promoting Italy and bringing more awareness of the authentic culture. We also enjoy helping our customers and friends to plan their trips there.”
They’ve successfully introduced us to delicate pastas and nuanced sauces. Their painstaking renditions of lasagna, gnocchi with Gorgonzola and veal in white wine sauce provide the precise flavors you’d enjoy when dining in Bologna or another of Italy’s culinary centers. For a taste of sangiovese from Emilia-Romagna, sip a glass of 2016 Don Pasquale Podere Palazzo. Loveria carries only Italian wines, and part of the couple’s mission is to educate customers with tastings and special dinners.
Shifting from architecture to food and wine wasn’t a stretch, though there was a learning curve in figuring out the local business protocols and becoming familiar with the customer base. Opening a restaurant in a country new to them brought expected challenges, naturally. Both owners work the front of the house, plus they run the website and oversee their social media and marketing efforts — leaving the actual cooking to chef Daniel Albarran.
Though COVID-19 has significantly affected their restaurant, the Loveria team is surviving. They lost catering business, but kept their staff employed.
“It’s been a big impact,” says Matteucci. “We changed our website platform to expand to-go orders, created the curbside pickup spot and modified to meet capacity, distancing and sanitation protocols. We expanded our patio to allow more people safely dining outside.”
A bright spot has been the expansion into Grapevine’s Harvest Hall, an ambitious dining and entertainment venue. Upon hearing about the new project that’s part of the Hotel Vin on Main Street, they applied for one of six slots. “We want to maintain the same quality and philosophy of using the best, fresh ingredients. Though there is quicker service, there is no compromising the quality,” says Bertozzi.
Albarran and general manager Graciela Fernandez are partners in the new venture. “We strongly believe in the power of teamwork,” adds Bertozzi.
At Spuntino, there’s ravioli and panini (including vegetarian and gluten-free choices), but smart money says the big winner is pizza al taglio — a Roman signature baked in a rectangular pan and served in squares. Offered in assorted varieties, it’s an ideal grazing sampler to pair with Italian boutique wines. For dessert, the palle di cioccolato, or double-dark chocolate balls, beg for an espresso on the side.
“We want to maintain the same philosophy of serving the best dishes, made from scratch with healthy ingredients, as we do at Loveria,” Bertozzi says, noting that she feels Spuntino is in excellent company with the other five eateries. “We are very excited to be with these partners. Each and every one is special.”