First Look: Alimentari 28
West Second cafe offers casual Italian bites and drinks
By Thea Newell,
1:00PM, Wed. Mar. 15, 2017
Although Austin may have seen a recent upsurge in Italian restaurants, the city has yet to see an authentic, casual Italian eatery and cafe like the one recently opened by Bernardo Nolfo: Alimentari 28.
Opened by the same team and located right next door to Numero28 on West Second, the eatery serves up an array of authentic Italian pastries and espresso drinks, as well as paninis and other hot breakfast and lunch items. Staffed largely by native Italians, who greet guests with an enthusiastic “Buongiorno,” and staying true to the Italian eatery set up of lunch items on display bakery-style, Alimentari 28 feels classically and authentically Italian. For those who have spent any time in Italy, the cafe will feel welcoming and nostalgic.
The bakery is owned and operated by Sicilian-born Bernardo Nolfo, the corporate openings manager for the Bice group, an international group of high-end Italian dining establishments originating in Milan. Nolfo formerly managed Il Buco in NYC before moving to Austin and opening Numero28 two years ago. Nolfo opened Alimentari 28 with the Milano aperitivo tradition in mind, the Italian happy hour that brings everyone to their local cafe/bar after work for a spritz or a Negroni and a small snack of pizzette or crostini. The soon-to-be-added wraparound patio should help to attract a larger happy hour crowd, or moviegoers looking to grab a quick meal before heading upstairs to Violet Crown.
The unassuming cafe also offers homemade gelato, fresh pressed juices, baked goods, and a full bar for happy hour and after-dinner cocktails, with plans to extend service with brunch and dinner menus. An Italian wine and beer menu is complemented by an ingredient list that is partially imported from Italy. Nolfo’s latest project may not be doing anything revolutionary, but it certainly offers up an affordable option for those looking for a casual but authentic snack in the West Second district.