Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pasta Bene Rolls On As Tutto Bene

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—After more than 30 years as Pasta Bene, owner Benjamin Albanese has changed the name to Tutto Bene to better match the evolution of the business that has grown from initially selling handmade ravioli to a full-service caterer and restaurant.
“It’s all good—that’s what it means—Tutto Bene—it’s all good. It’s not just pasta anymore,” Albanese said.
The name change came several weeks ago, and includes a new sign for the restaurant at 1050 Pearl St. and a brightly painted car that advertises the new name change.
What will remain the same, Albanese, 58, said, is the same high standard and quality of the pasta, ravioli, tortellini and other homemade specialties served at the restaurant, catering and retail side of the company.
Albanese, 58, who worked as a Brockton City Solicitor for more than 10 years, said he launched Pasta Bene when he was a young student attending law school. He tended bar, went to classes and began hand-rolling ravioli and sold them from a corner stand in a cheese shop.
His sisters helped roll ravioli as the business grew and grew and grew— and as he went on as a professional lawyer, the business continued to expand, eventually opening in a building across the street that now houses White’s Pastry.
The business moved into its current location about 12 years ago, and recently renovated an adjacent space for functions and private parties, and rebuilt the bar and dining room.
On most Thursday nights, Berklee College of Music Professor Steve Heck and Albanese’s wife Lynne play organ and perform a mix of popular music, rhythm and blues, and old favorites.
Back before Ben and Lynne were married 17 years ago and had their children Alexandra, 14--who often sings with Heck and Lynne--and Ben, 12, Lynne took her shot at fame and fortune and headed out to California, where while she didn’t hit the big time, had the opportunity to sing with the famous Righteous Brothers in a club they owned in Los Angeles. (Pictured above with Heck playing organ, and with husband Ben)
Staff at Tutto Bene, many who have been there for 10 years or more, said they enjoy working at the restaurant and believe it is one of the best places in the area for Italian food, creative American cuisine, Sangria made fresh everyday and a stylish, urban atmosphere that draws judges, lawyers, area business owners and 30-and 40-somethings looking for a sophisticated night out.
“I love this place,” said Joe Niccoli, owner of Niccoli Bros. Oil, who with several employees stopped in to visit his favorite wait staff. (Pictured at right with staff member Carly Gerry)
Tara Hasomeris, a Brockton native whose 30th birthday party was a hot topic of comment at the restaurant, laughed as she philosophized about the milestone, and poured a glass of Sangria. (Pictured below)
“We really have fun here—you have to have fun, because before you know it you’re turning 30,” Hasomeris said.
Canton resident Teresa Mackie, who has been with Albanese for over 10 years, said it’s been a great place to work while she raises her children.
“It’s really like a family,” Mackie said. “There are people of all ages, but everyone gets along and we have a good time,” she said.
Tutto Bene's hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Evening dining: Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.
Lunch: Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Retail store: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here to visit Tutto Bene's website.
(Pictured at top, Kitchen Manager Omar Sodevilla, and second from top, Prep Chef Emmanuel Barria)