How It All Started
In 1999, Tina (Alicea’s mom), having no restaurant experience – except waiting tables at a truck stop as a teenager, took a chance and purchased Riccardo’s. Being a huge Lucille Ball fan and having moved to Tallahassee from Jamestown, New York (Lucy’s hometown), she saw the name of the restaurant as a sign. She built the business up with hard work, getting to know the customers personally and being known for providing above and beyond service including but not limited to: walking babies around the restaurants so parents could eat, dressing up as Lucy for the yearly anniversary celebration of when she purchased the restaurant, and chasing patrons all the way out to Capital Circle to be sure to say thank you and goodbye.
In 2006, we (Alicea & John) relocated from Tampa to Tallahassee to help run the restaurant during a family situation “for a year”. After a few years here we decided to make Tallahassee our permanent home and over time, purchased the restaurant from mom. We are happily raising our two daughters here and enjoy going to concerts and watching baseball and football together.
We have been lucky to have two members of our staff be with us through the entire tenure of the restaurant in our family, one in the front of the house and one in the back. We have gotten so close to some former staff members that we celebrate holidays together. We have gotten to know our regular customers so well that we are happy to now call many personal friends and even talked one into becoming a notary so he could marry us.
Over the years we have kept the most important piece of our menu puzzle the same, our secret bread recipe. We mix, knead, measure and bake a minimum of three 85 pound loads per day. We offer over 25 pasta entree selections, 17 different subs served on our secret bread, and the best pizza and calzones in town, if we do say so ourselves! The original owner featured German specials on Thursday nights and we have continued that tradition and added some of our Oma’s own recipes. We’ve expanded our beverage list significantly to offer over 30 varieties of wine and an ever-changing craft beer selection.
Riccardo’s is a great place to catch up with friends, have a business lunch or a dinner date with your honey. We are looking forward to sharing our brand new midtown location with all of our long-time customers and welcoming new ones!