Your Hosts.

Tom Tarantino.

Tom is a first generation American. His mother came to the United States in 1940 from Porticello, Siciliy. His father’s family arrived in the U.S. as one of the first families to own a home in Little Italy, San Diego. As mentioned in the book by Pete Corona, PH.D., Little Italy, The Way it Was, Peter wrote: “In 1930 the Tarantino family moved to Columbia Street in Little Italy. Pietro Tarantino and Giuseppe Corona owned the 55-foot fishing boat Garibaldi. They claimed to be the first Italian fishermen to fish for tuna with their boat.”

After coming to the United States in the early 1900’s, both Tom’s grandfathers were fishermen in Little Italy and were among the first to donate funds to help build Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church which currently stands on State Street. Tom grew up in Little Italy and attended Washington Elementary School.

Tom has been involved in the food business for over 30 years, working in restaurants and supermarkets since the early 1980’s. Over the years local restaurants have turned to Tom to provide ideas on improving their concepts and menus. He has a passion for food and cooking traditional Sicilian style dishes, born out of tradition from recipes handed down from the Tarantino and D’Acquisto families.

Antonia Buono.

Antonia was born in Borgo a Buggiano, a province of Florence, Italy. She immigrated to the United States in 1971 along with her parents Francesco and Francesca Calia, and with her sister Katia. Her father Francesco continued his master carpentry in San Diego, and her mother Francesca also remained true to her talents as a seamstress. Antonia attended Emerald Middle School, Monte Vista High School and continued her education at Grossmont College. She embraced her Italian culture at an early age and actively serves at the historic Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Little Italy.

Antonia has been involved in the food industry professionally while never losing her passion for cooking for family and friends. In addition to managing deli’s, Antonia has catered private events and provided training for current restaurant owners in an effort to improve their Northern & Southern Italian dishes. Antonia has perfected her cooking talent and skill alongside her mother from an early age. She has learned the importance of simplicity that Italian dishes require for authenticity. It has been a longtime dream of Antonia’s to run a restaurant as an owner, and now is the opportunity for her to bring her love of fresh Italian cooking to Rovino.

Vincenzo Bruno.

Vincenzo was born in San Diego, California, the son of two Little Italy locally raised natives, Nick Bruno and Rosalie D’Acquisto. Both the Bruno and D’Acquisto families have been extensively involved in the Little Italy community as residents and business owners. Vincenzo’s grandfather (who he was named after) came to Little Italy in 1949 and was the proprietor of the famous Vincenzo’s Barber Shop on India Street while also working at his father’s restaurant, the critically acclaimed Venetian Restaurant in Point Loma.

The young Vincenzo is an aspiring entrepreneur looking to build upon his family’s heritage as well as his passion for the restaurant business. He will be consulted and financially assisted by his father, Nick, who has experience in consulting various restaurants throughout Little Italy. Vincenzo graduated from San Diego State University in 2016 with a degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Accounting. While attending college, Vincenzo has worked at one of Little Italy’s most well known food establishments where he has held various positions to help him further understand the restaurant business. He looks forward to continuing his family’s legacy of serving the community and others at RoVino Rotisserie + Wine.