South Austin Italian food truck trailer Il Saporis is opening a new restaurant in downtown Austin this year. Sapori Italian Roots will be found at 800 Brazos Street, Suite 215 starting on Thursday, August 10. The food truck officially closed over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21.
The new Sapori’s menu will offer most of the same dishes found at the food truck, with Italian American dishes including house-made pasta and sauces. There will be fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and more. The restaurant will include a pasta-making station visible to guests, as well as a new burrata station. It’ll add other new dishes like salads, potentially osso buco ravioli, desserts like tiramisus, cannolis, and frozen sweets; and wine/wine cocktails and beer.
Italian food and restaurants have been part of owner Tony DeStefano’s life for forever. His father and mentor Giuseppe DeStefano was born and raised in Italy and had run San Antonio Italian restaurants (Gianni’s Italian Cuisine, DeStefano’s Italian Cafe, and Gianni’s Italian Cuisine). Tony and his siblings grew up helping out at the restaurants. Eventually, the businesses closed, but Giuseppe remained in the restaurant industry working in Dallas. In the meantime, Tony moved to Austin as part of the opening team of downtown hotel JW Marriott in 2015. Four years later, he worked for the airport hospitality company Delaware North at the Austin-Bergstrom Airport.
Tony knew he wanted to open a restaurant in Austin, and that starting off with a food truck seemed to be the best way of getting their feet into the Austin restaurant scene. He opened Il Saporis in the fall of 2019 at the South First Food Court, with the aid of his father who provided knowledge and helped prep items. Tony’s search for a physical location went on for about a year and a half until this Brazos Street address — which had been the downtown location of Biderman’s Deli from 2018 to 2020 — became available. He signed the lease in March.
The future restaurant space will include counter-table services as well as a coffee walk-up window. It’ll be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sapori will also start offering retail goods, including fried pasta, sauces, and dressings, as well as meal kits.
For the truck/restaurant, Tony created his own restaurant company — Benedetto Hospitality Group. He’s also working on opening a Filipino food truck, Pogi Filipino Street Cuisine, with San Antonio’s Durden Food Group (which developed food menus for Bar America and Amor Eterno), in Austin.
Sort of similarly and nearby, a new bar is taking over what had been the downtown second location of a restaurant. Saturn is going to open in the former Cuba 512 downtown address this summer.
Update, August 3: This article, originally published on May 16, has been updated to include information about the Il Saporis closing and the opening date of Sapori Italian Roots.