Enclaved in the heart of Omaha’s beloved Dundee, Avoli Osteria has been challenging Americanized perceptions of Italian cuisine since 2013.

From the ornate gallery wall adorned with mirrors to the elegant gold-accented chandeliers and the countless bottles of wine lining the dining room, Avoli Osteria offers a fully immersive experience, effortlessly transporting guests to Northern Italy for an evening that’s truly unforgettable.

Whether you seek a romantic reservation for two or a much-needed respite from life’s bustling demands, you’re in fine hands with Dario and Amy Schicke. With decades of experience in the restaurant industry, the owners have dedicated themselves to creating a dining experience that is not only delicious but also simmered in tradition and authenticity.

The core of Avoli Osteria’s identity lies in its dedication to Northern Italian cuisine, setting it apart from the often-Americanized versions of Italian food found in many restaurants across the United States. The Schickes highlight the distinct differences between the two culinary styles.

“There’s really nothing in common,” Dario Schicke laughs.

Northern Italian cuisine is ingredient-driven, with an emphasis on fresh, high-quality components. Unlike its Americanized counterpart, Avoli Osteria avoids heavy cream in its sauces, steering clear of dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo that depend significantly on cream.

“We don’t use a lot of olive oils either— that’s authentic to Southern Italy,” Dario Schicke explains.

Instead, the focus is on butter and rich, hearty sauces, inspired by the flavors of the regions that border Northern Italy, including Germany, France, Austria, and Slovenia. This results in a menu that offers unique flavors, often featuring game meats and robust seasonings.

Another notable difference between Northern Italian and Americanized Italian cuisine is portion sizes. While the latter often favors large quantities, Avoli Osteria follows Italian trends, where “less is more.”

This approach highlights the quality of ingredients and aims to provide an authentic dining experience akin to what one might encounter in Italy. By resisting the temptation to overindulge, Avoli Osteria stays true to the essence of Northern Italian cuisine.

“If we’re going to call ourselves Italian restaurant, we’re going to stay true to Italian heritage and also Italian trends in ingredients and food,” Dario Schicke says with conviction, and the same applies to portion sizes: “We try not to make lunch for tomorrow.”

Avoli Osteria is all about authenticity and tradition when it comes to ingredients as well. If you’re a carbonara connoisseur, you’ll appreciate their commitment to authentic Northern Italian recipes now more than ever—yes—that means no peas in sight. At Avoli Osteria, the carbonara stays true to its roots, without any pea-ky distractions.

In all seriousness, the restaurant places the utmost priority on sourcing products from Italy, particularly for cheeses, meats, and flours that can’t be easily replaced or replicated in the States. Seasonal produce and proteins, on the other hand, are locally sourced. This balance ensures that each dish captures the essence of Northern Italian cuisine while remaining environmentally conscious and supporting local communities.

As an ingredient-driven establishment, Avoli Osteria’s menu is ever-changing due to the changing seasons and the availability of ingredients. The menu varies weekly, relying on a core of staple dishes, complementing them with seasonal offerings.

This approach not only ensures freshness but also allows patrons to experience the diverse flavors that Northern Italian cuisine has to offer.

Authenticity isn’t the only thing that draws customers from bordering Nebraska states; the dedication to customer service, tasteful atmosphere, and curated wine list of exclusively Italian wines pull their own weight too.

Above all, consistency is the cornerstone of their success, as patrons know they can rely on Avoli Osteria for an authentic and delicious experience with every visit.

“If you’re not consistent? No bueno,” Dario Schicke remarks.

One thing you can count on is fresh pasta, made in-house, every single day. The art of pasta-making is a daily ritual that transforms dining into an experience of its own. Avoli Osteria takes pride in crafting their own pasta in-house, embracing the flavors and textures that come from this labor of love.

From the delicate ribbons of tagliatelle to the comforting pillows of gnocchi, every strand and shape is a testament to the commitment of bringing Northern Italian cuisine to life. The result? Dishes that offer not just a taste of Italy, but a journey into the heart of its culinary heritage.

In an era where culinary trends come and go, Avoli Osteria stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of true Northern Italian cuisine. The next time you think about dining at a basic chain Italian restaurant, take a step back, spend local, and venture outside your comfort zone.

“We may not have what you traditionally get at an Italian restaurant in Omaha, but we have something that you might like better,” Dario Schicke proposes. “Give us a shot, and trust us.”