Favaloro's Big Night Bistro, 545 Lighthouse Ave. Pacific Grove, CA 93950
(831) 373-8523 • Email email@example.com
Big Night Bistro
Open for Dinner
Tuesday thru Saturday from 5pm
About The Favaloro Family
The Favaloro family are celebrating more than two decades in Pacific Grove with the reopening of Favaloro’s Big Night Bistro. Husband and wife team, Nino and Marie Favaloro, have combined their talents and passions to create an Italian restaurant like none other. They and their children, John, Anthony and Ariana, invite you to experience this home-away-from-home and taste the recipes that have been in their family for generations.
Nino and Marie have created an inviting atmosphere, with a warm, authentic ambiance. Each dish is hand-prepared by Marie and Nino themselves, just as if you were dining in their home with family—albeit, a large, traditional Italian family.
Nino and Marie celebrate over two decades of culinary history in Pacific Grove with the reopening this year of Favoloro's Big Night Bistro which has been completely remodeled since a devasting utility fire tore through the interior of the historic building in 2012. "We are so glad to be opened again and we have been busy during closure improving every aspect of our offerings." State's Marie Favaloro.
Nino Favaloro is a third generation fisherman who came to Monterey to fish.The family opened its first restaurant and fish market in Pacific Grove in 1993. Nino's boat “Lucky Marie” supplied all the fresh seafood and Marie did all the cooking. In 1996, they upped the ante and moved downtown where they opened a dinner house named Favaloro’s in the Holman Building. With Marie and Nino in the kitchen, son John serving guests and the youngest ones in the back doing their homework, this family owned and operated restaurant was met with overwhelming success.
Nearly a decade later, they purchased the building across the street, at 545 Lighthouse Avenue, and moved the restaurant there, renaming it Favaloro’s Big Night Bistro. In 2012, an electrical fire destroyed much of the interior of the building, and the Favaloros were forced to rebuild. Yet, like the phoenix, the family rose to the challenge and reopened the restaurant in 2013 to the community's delight. Due to the popularity of this small restaurant, reservations are always recommended.
Fresh Catch for the Favaloro's boat the Lucky Marie
As you read this page, the family fishing boat, Lucky Marie, is plying the coastal waters of California searching for calamari, sardines, anchovies and Mackerel. The boat is captained by Michael Sardina, a long time friend of the family. This boat provides the restaurant first and helps assure that the Favaloro's always have the freshest selection of seafood.
After the fire, the family began the process of rebuilding their signature restaurant. However,in order not to be stymied by the lengthy process they decided to add a cafe to the mix in the building next door. Cafe Ariana opened in November of 2012 and has given the grown children Ariana and Anthony a place to call their own. “Our children were raised here in the restaurant and they are old enough now to start learning the ropes. Besides, like most kids their age prefer the menu at the cafe… Pizzas, Panini Sandwiches, Pastries, Gelato, Desserts, Salads and Soups.... We also offer Retro Sodas, a nice selection of Monterey County and Italian wines, an interesting selection of beers, including some artisanal brands and, of course, desserts.” When Ariana is off at college, you will often find youngest son, Anthony behind the counter, ready and eager to serve Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm.
IN THE NEWS
Favaloro Big NightBistro
Makes Diner Choice List for
"Top 100 Best Neighborhood
Gem Restaurants in America"
In celebration of the local restaurants diners return to time and again, OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, is pleased to honor the 2014 Diners' Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Best Neighborhood Gem Restaurants in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The winning restaurants on this list are in many ways the heart and soul of their neighborhoods, offering much more than delicious meals," says Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. "They provide a place that inspires a real sense of community and pride, making local area foodies feel right at home, night after night.
Favaloro’s Big Night Bistro (373-8523) turns 21 with a week-long bash (Nov. 17-22): selected wine bottles and menu specials for $21 and a Facebook contest to win dinner or gift certificates.
In January 2012, a phone call from the mainland ruined their respite and put their futures in doubt. Their restaurant was burning.
"It was the longest flight of my life," said Marie. "Horrible. I didn't know what we would find when we got home."
An electrical fire caused by repair work on a nearby transformer gutted the restaurant, leaving Nino to wonder if he should return to the ocean as a commercial fisherman. After all, he still owned his boat, dubbed "Lucky Marie."
In the end, the couple knew they needed to rebuild, because running a restaurant defined them. Nino owned Colombo's on Fisherman's Wharf in the 1970s before heading out to sea from 1977-92. In 1993 he opened a fish market in Fairway Center in Pacific Grove, with plans to serve Italian seafood and pasta dishes.
A year later, when their daughter Ariana was only 3 days old, they added "Restaurant" to Favaloro's Fish Market. "I went from the hospital to the kitchen, and raised both kids in the restaurant business," said Marie.
Ariana, now 21, attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, but waits tables during school breaks. Anthony, 18, runs the family's Café Ariana (pizza, panini, gelato) next door to Big Night, and Nino's son John from a first marriage has been with them from the beginning.
"We do it all as a family," said Marie.
That's an understatement. At Big Night, they hire no prep cooks or kitchen help, and servers all have the last name Favaloro. In the kitchen, for hours on end, stand Nino and Marie, side by side, prepping and cooking and expediting for as many as 40 diners at once. They may own the only local mom-and-pop restaurant where both mom and pop run the kitchen.
When they re-opened last August, 18 months had passed since the fateful phone call. The building stood, but the restaurant needed a complete rebuild, from floor to ceiling. That meant dealing with insurance companies, lawyers, contractors, permitting agencies, inspectors and dozens of vendors. It nearly broke them, emotionally and financially.
The space, designed by Marie, is immaculate, and the menu of southern Italian recipes from their respective Sicilian-born families has remained the same. They specialize in seafood, of course, given Nino's former occupation, and the fact that a family friend fishes the "Lucky Marie" and gives Nino first choice of the catch.
Curiously, former customers still walk in the door and show surprise that they are open.
"I want to scream to everyone, 'We're here, we're back,'" said Marie.
The window dressing may be new, but the heartbeat of the place remains the same. "It's not really a new restaurant. We do things the same. We are meticulous," said Marie. "No one does it like we do."