The family is here to share our passion for family and great food.
Everything about our story comes back to that one word. Our story started in Carini, Italy and our individual journeys have brought us to Richmond, Virginia. We've been a staple in the community for years sharing our passion for family and great food. From our Famiglia to yours…
Chef Gaetano decided at the age of 16 to put aside his barber career and leave the family home in Carini, Italy to work with his Uncle Santino Cracchiolo at his family restaurant in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. Gaetano shared the family passion for cooking and in 2005, opened Santino’s South Side as a partner with his two uncles, Santino and Antonio. For 15 years, Gaetano continued to have a successful business and career as a owner at Santino’s. He brings the same passion in the authentic "vecchio" dishes he creates at Casa Italiana from the homemade pastas to the modern "Nuovo" chef's seasonal specials.
Filippo followed his brother’s footsteps a few short years later and came to America at the age of 15. Filippo moved to Pennsylvania to work at another family restaurant. For six years, Filippo was a key member to the growth and success of that restaurant.
Richmond native, Annalisa, was raised from the age of two in her parents’ restaurant. At the age of 13, Annalisa mastered every area in the restaurant until she was running the family business by the age of 20.
It wasn't until years later, at a family gathering in Pennsylvania, Filippo and Annalisa met. Their families knew each other as they were from the same small town of Carini, Italy. The moment Filippo met Annalisa, he knew that she was the woman he wanted to marry. At the age of 21, Filippo moved to Richmond, Virginia to be with Annalisa. Here he worked for Annalisa’s family restaurant, for two years. In 2007, Filippo and Annalisa opened their first restaurant, Pizza Express Westend. The following year they were married. They had their first daughter, Giulia, in 2011 and Vanessa, their second daughter, was born in 2015.
At the age of 16, Kristi was introduced to Filippo and they began to work together. Filippo and Kristi became friends instantly and ultimately, Kristi became part of the Genova family. In 2004, after graduating culinary school, Kristi moved to California to pursue her passion for cooking. A passion that was instilled in her by the three men she admires, Filippo, Gaetano, and her father. By the age of 26, she had been named one of LA’s top chefs. In the years following, Kristi served as Corporate Chef for the Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop restaurants, Executive Chef for Tahoe’s iconic West Shore Café, and as a sought-after private chef.
From the food, atmosphere and overall experience, we want our guests to feel at home and part of our family!