The oven itself, Lussiano says, will be the eatery’s “focal point — the first thing you see when you walk in and sit at the bar. It cooks at about 850 to 1,000 degrees, so it cooks quickly, and the pizza will be light and airy. We’re working with a couple of chefs, trying some different doughs, different seasonings, but we just want it to be authentic.
He adds, “When Larissa and I went to Italy for a couple of weeks, we fell in love with the fresh ingredients and the little 12-inch pizza pies that were so flavorful. They taste delicious and are something that you crave. That’s what we’re going after.”
Lussiano, 30-year a veteran of big national restaurant brands such as Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, and Red Lobster, knows a thing or two about restaurants, but Tommy’s Hideaway is his first attempt to develop a restaurant using his own funds, without the support of a major, deep-pocketed corporation. He admits it’s a risk, but one that he feels comfortable with at this point in his life.
“The past three years I was vice president of Miller’s Ale House,” he says. “I was commuting to Orlando, doing a lot of international travel. Larissa and I were leaning toward, ‘Hey, what is our exit strategy? What do we want to do when we get old?’”