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Bambino Opens in Austin from the L’Oca d’Oro Team

An all-day pizza restaurant is now open in East Austin, from co-founders Fiore Tedesco and Adam Orman, with a full menu of pizzas, antipasti, cocktails and other drinks, and an emphasis on fair pay and benefits for employees.

pizza pie

The MI Scusi pizza at Bambino in Austin. Photo: Jody Horton

Austin’s food scene added another Italian option to the menu last week, as Bambino opened with a menu of pizzas, antipasti, and a drinks list with creative cocktails and more. The casual all-day pizza joint is the second restaurant from co-owners Adam Orman and chef Fiore Tedesco, who opened the more pasta-focused L’Oca d’Oro in 2016. 

Adam Orman and Fiore Tedesco
Co-owners Adam Orman and Fiore Tedesco opened Bambino in Austin last week. Photo: Jody Horton

At Bambino, which sets out to “weave together the spirit of the ‘80s with a grown-up sensibility,” according to its website, the emphasis is on the 13-inch pizzas, which range from the classics (margherita and rosso) to the creative (the “Coppa Cabana” with house-made coppa, orange marmalade, mozzarella, oregano, and chile). Yet the menu is playful throughout, from nostalgic favorites like mozzarella sticks and garlic cheesy bread to desserts like soft-serve gelato and “Bambino Nachos,” made with cinnamon sugar pizza crisps.

Tedesco, an Italian American from Troy, NY and a former drummer in touring punk-rock bands, took a circuitous route to cooking. He worked in the music and fashion industries before transitioning to cooking, and ended up in the kitchens at notable spots like Roberta’s in Brooklyn, Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan, and Franklin Barbecue in Austin before starting a series of pop-ups under the L’Oca d'Oro banner. 

Tinned fish and bread
The tinned fish set on the menu at Bambino in Austin. Photo: Jody Horton.

After a few years, he and Orman teamed up on a brick-and-mortar version, with a range of pastas and appetizers made with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. The partners also created a workplace that aims to pay fair wages to its entire staff, supported by a 20% pre-tax service charge.

There are similar commitments in place at Bambino. According to a representative for the restaurant, this includes a $17 per hour starting base pay as well as a “service charge to guarantee a living wage for all employees; direct primary care health memberships; predictive scheduling; PTO; subsidized mental health benefits; and more.” The website features a “Values” section and mentions Orman’s work on co-founding the hospitality worker advocacy group Good Work Austin, where he’s a current board member.

A spread of pizzas, drinks and more at Bambino
Bambino offers pizza, snacks, cocktails and other drinks, and more in Austin. Photo: Jody Horton

Back on the menu at Bambino, another thing that caught our eye is the Cocktails and Aperitivo section, which includes amaro-based concoctions, a locally produced Italian pilsner (from Austin's Meanwhile Beer), and “Pizza Mamma,” made with a chili-infused vodka and ingredients meant to mimic or perhaps compliment the main attraction at Bambino. Oh, and as we at Appetito like to see from Italian restaurants, there’s a burger on the menu; this one changes “al giorno,” with the instruction to see the board for the daily offering. 

979 Springdale Rd., Suite 153, Austin, TX 78702, @bambinoatx,

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