Located in Westford's new Cornerstone Square lays the modern Italian scratch kitchen and bar, Evviva Cucina. Evviva Cucina, meaning "Food to Cheer" takes a locally fresh approach in every dish that comes out of their kitchen.
With 32 bar seats and tables both indoors and out, Evviva Cucina offers seating for more than 150 guests. The ceilings are high; the floors and tables offer a roomy, crisp and clean look; the décor is simple, but spot on; and the colorful blackboard offers insight to where each of its local ingredients come from.
Evviva Cucina's open kitchen concept leaves little to the imagination.
"When you have the right ingredients and the right philosophy you can put it all together and be successful," said Evviva Cucina Executive Chef Anthony De Palma.
De Palma was recently named the winner of Food Network's 2013 season premiere of Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell and titled "Italian Empire's Executive Chef." Before his stint on the small screen, De Palma's upbringing opened up a world of knowledge and opportunity for him.
Born and raised in southern Italy, De Palma was given an ultimatum at a young age.
"My father gave me a choice -- 'come to work with me, or go to work with your grandmother.' "
Needless to say, growing their own vegetables and raising their own livestock, he worked alongside his grandmother in her very authentic scratch kitchen. To this day, De Palma taps into local flavor by cultivating relationships with nearby fisheries and farms to get the best and most organic ingredients.
From scratch kitchens in southern Italy to world-renowned restaurants in New York City, De Palma says he will take the practice, experience and knowledge wherever he can get it.
Having owned and operated several restaurants in his past life, De Palma's outlook on Evviva Cucina is exactly what General Manager Nick Harron was looking for in a partner.
"Anthony has a great culinary vision," said Harron, adding "We've worked his mind around a truly polished yet casual restaurant with top-notch service."
Harron, whose father is the CEO of neighboring Burton's Grill, has worked through the ranks in the restaurant industry. At the age of 13 he became a dishwasher and has since worked as a server, line cook, sous chef and executive chef.
In speaking to both Harron and De Palma, it became immediately apparent that these two guys are on the same page -- from their business philosophy to bringing out the authenticity of a region through a dish, to keeping prices reasonable and affordable, and thinking with a sustainable kind of mind.
It's this progressive way of thinking that will move the Evviva Cucina brand forward.