Playing with Fire
“Food is all we’ve ever done,” says our co-founder Greg Atkin, who, like his business partners Rick Post and Tom White, began working in restaurants at a very young age. The three co-workers became fast friends, spending their time cooking up “the dream of opening a restaurant together someday.”
After years of climbing the ladder in various restaurant positions, Tom White temporarily left his friends to attend the California Culinary Academy, giving him outstanding connections and experiences. Upon his return to New Mexico, Chef White’s knowledge of Italian fare eventually prompted the partners to open two of the state’s best-known Italian Restaurants.
Although the full-service restaurants were highly successful, Greg, Rick and Tom still harbored the desire to create a unique Italian pizzeria the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the southwest.
Incorporating concepts garnered from stylish San Francisco haunts with traditional wood-firing methods learned during his extended sabbatical visiting Italy’s traditional pizzerias, Chef White presented his idea to the partners: authentic wood oven pizza prepared with the highest-quality ingredients, served in a casually upscale atmosphere.
The first Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza location opened for business in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill in 1992, instantly rousing the interest and appetites of pizza lovers looking for something a cut above the regular pie. 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. Filling out the menu are 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.
Join us at one of our eight locations in Colorado, Kansas or New Mexico, where you just might see Greg, Rick or Tom.