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Meet Kendele Sieve of Noto Italian Restaurant

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kendele Sieve.

Hi Kendele, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Noto is our family name. My father started out with a bakery in St. Charles where we produced Italian cakes, desserts, cookies, pastries, etc. My husband and I traveled to Italy, specifically the Amalfi Coast where we fell in love with Pizza Napoletana.

After a few trips to Naples, my husband Wayne began his passion to recreate authentic pizza Napoletana. He started with a tabletop Ooni pizza oven, making pizza for family and friends. Wayne had the idea shortly after to share his. passion with the public and he opened Noto Pizza food truck in 2017. The feedback was incredible and once my father announced his retirement, my husband and I took over the lease where the bakery was and opened Noto Italian Restaurant.

We opened the restaurant in Jan 2020 (right before COVID). With the amazing support from our community, we were able to survive the COVID times and our business keeps increasing every month. We now have a team filled with talented individuals who make up what our restaurant is today.

We are simply cooking from scratch and creating authentic Italian dishes true to Italy.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
When we first opened the demand for diners was crazy. Almost more than we could handle. Soon that came to a halt once the shutdown for COVID was announced. We closed for one week just to access what we would do next. The following week we opened back up for carryout only.

We were able to adapt quickly to a carry-out-only/family dining restaurant. That kept us going for months until we were able to reopen in July for dine-in. It was a slow start, but once the vaccines were available business started picking up. Now, we sell out or are completely booked for reservations weeks in advance.

The next challenge we are currently facing is the labor pull and inflation. We operate with such a small team and it is a struggle to find workers. Prices of meat, produce, flour, etc are starting to increase as well. Luckily, we create a new menu every season, so we are able to control our menu items by taking into consideration certain items that are increasing in price.

We’ve been impressed with Noto Italian Restaurant, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a husband and wife team who own and operate Noto Restaurant.

We specialized in Pizza Napoletana, which originates in Naples, Italy. The pizza is a 52-hr dough that is baked in our Italian Wood Fired Oven at 1000 degrees for 90 seconds. Although Pizza Napoletana is the focus we also offer pasta, main entrees, aperitivo bites (appetizers) desserts, and a full bar.

We make everything from scratch and source our ingredients both locally and imported from Italy. Our menus change with the seasons, 4 times a year. We offer seasonal, authentic Italian cuisine.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
We have a collection of Italian books. These books include cookbooks, regions of Italy, specific restaurants whether in the USA or in Italy, culture, etc.

We purchase one book a week and have been doing that since the start of the restaurant. These books have been inspirations for creating new menus and specials for the restaurant.

Contact Info:

  • Email: info@notopizza.com
  • Website: notopizza.com
  • Instagram: @notopizzas

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