For Mark Angluin, that's the goal as he makes preparations to open Al Fresca Ristorante, Tewksbury's newest Italian restaurant.
"All of our ingredients will be imported," said Angluin. "From the oils, to the cheeses to the deli meats. We'll be grinding our own Romano cheese. We're going for authenticity."
Al Fresca Ristorante takes over the space once occupied by Cusano's Kitchen, at 1768 Main St. Angluin is leasing the space, which has been vacant for about three years, and purchased the contents left behind.
A complete renovation of the interior has created what Angluin describes as a "modern Italian bistro."
The restaurant is divided into two sections with a 50-seat dining area on one side and a full bar with additional seating for 20 on the other. The bar will feature a variety of "craft beers," also known as microbrews. Angluin cleared a major hurdle Tuesday night (July 17) when the Board of Selectmen granted him a full liquor license.
"We should be ready to open in about two weeks," he said.
Angluin, a Dracut resident, is no novice in the restaurant business. He got his start as a dishwasher at age 13. He worked his way up through the ranks to cook and ultimately to executive chef. He cut his teeth at restaurants such as Scola's in Dracut and Trattoria Almalfi in Salem, NH.
He chose Tewksbury as the location for his first restaurant because of the success of other Italian restaurants in the community, such as Luna Rosa and Capellini's. But he admits that the Tewksbury's huge ethnic Italian population also made the town attractive.
"No that you need Italians to do Italian food but they were here," he said.
Angluin says he is still in the process of hiring staff and is taking applications for all positions, including wait staff and hostesses, kitchen staff and bartenders.