A VERY YORKSHIRE ITALIAN
Local restaurateur Marco Di Rienzo has brought an authentic Italian restaurant to the area. Santoni, based in Marley, has been open for just over 12 months and is fast becoming a favourite with locals due to its innovative regional Italian dishes and warm friendly atmosphere. " It was always inevitable, Marco says with a smile, "restaurants, sourcing and service are in my blood and it was always my dream to open Santoni in my local area."
He certainly has the credentials, after all he learnt from the best mentor his father Toni Di Rienzo who opened the first pizzeria in Bradford in 1974, followed by Da Tonino's in Shipley a few years later. "He always taught me to push boundaries," states Marco, " and after working with him for many years I moved away from the area to gain more experience". A move to Newcastle where he worked through the ranks at a quality Sardinian city centre restaurant, was followed by a move into sales working for a market leader Italian food importer. His work in the region was soon to be noticed from further afield resulting in being head hunted by the respected Berkmann Wine Cellars of London to work with customers across the North of England and vineyards in Italy, "I was lucky enough to meet and work with some amazing passionate restaurateurs and producers in the past inspiring me to bring some quality and authenticity to the area, people are well travelled these days and are experiencing the diversity of Italian regional cuisine.“
The feedback we have received so far has been fantastic, firm favourites being our own recipe sourdough Neapolitan pizzas made with a blend of Italian imported stone milled flour, whilst our arancini balls have been compared by one local Italian family as being as good as their Nonna's which we take as the highest compliment. We are constantly updating the menu and taking advantage of the freshest ingredients, we take pride in what we source, introducing new products all the time ranging from an high altitude Pinot Noir produced by a small cooperative of farmers in the Dolomites to an artisan smoked cheese from the south of Italy.
This keenness on evolving extends to the drinks list also with guest craft beers and cocktails with local suppliers appearing regularly. Recent additions include Yorkshire Lass Gin and Royal Spring's Yorkshire Vodka in a link up with local businesses, whilst the coffee is expertly blended and roasted on order by Casa Espresso of Shipley which is owned by Marco's own brother Nino. In Italian style, truly a family affair!