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The Dream of Three Young Friends Comes True and Manifests Into Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza

By Elisha Neubauer

Just when you think pizza couldn't get any better, you stumble upon a restaurant like Il Vicino- an upscale eatery known for its one of a kind wood oven pizzas and Italian flair. Started back in 1992 by three friends and former co-workers, Il Vincino has grown to include nine locations across the southwestern United States in just under twenty-five years.

The three friends (Tom White, Greg Atkin, and Richard Post), have always worked in the restaurant industry, ever since they were kids. "Food is all we've ever done," states Atkin. Having worked alongside each other in several facilities, the three spent much of their spare time dreaming and planning their own restaurant; although, at the time, it seemed like only a pipe dream.

After several years, Tom White left his mates behind to attend the California Culinary Academy. The prestigious school opened doors for White, introducing him to several important contacts and allowing him to experience the industry at an entirely new pace. Upon his return, the three friends solidified their dreams, launching two of New Mexico's most well-known Italian restaurants.

While they saw great success from the two establishments, it wasn't what they had originally pictured when dreaming up their ideal eatery as youths. After spending time in Italy touring traditional pizzerias, White returned home once again, with a unique concept in hand. "Chef White presented his idea to his partners: authentic wood oven pizza prepared with the highest-quality ingredients, served in a casually upscale atmosphere," explains Post.

That was it. That was the idea the friends and partners had been searching for. The first Il Vicino location launched and history was made. "It instantly roused the interest and appetites of pizza lovers looking for something a cut above the regular pie," Post recalls. "Over the years, our menu has expanded to include many other Italian entrees created by Chef White. Our wood-fired pizzas vary from the conventional Margherita to gourmet-inspired toppings such as goat cheese, fiery shrimp or roasted chicken."

In addition to the eclectic selection of wood oven pizzas, the menu is slam-packed with choices like calzones, Panini and Piadine flatbread sandwiches, fresh signature salads, and baked lasagnas and pastas. "We also serve a wide selection of premium wines, award-winning microbrewed beers, homemade root beer and tempting desserts," Post mentions.

When visiting one of their nine locations in either New Mexico, Kansas, or Colorado, be sure to keep your eyes peeled. Being that Il Vicino is the physical manifestation of their own wants and desires in the restaurant industry, you're likely to find the founders, either Tom White, Richard Post, or Greg Atkin; perhaps even all three, seated at one of the tables themselves.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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