There are many avenues pursued by people who enter into and ultimately choose the food service profession as their life's career. Some begin in entry level positions such as a waitress, bartender or busser working part time while in school, planning a career in another field. They eventually succumb instead to their love of the food industry. Others are born into it by virtue of it being the family business and, surprisingly, their training can begin at entry level, too! Their work experience generally includes food preparation, bartending, bussing tables, as well as acquiring management skills necessary to restaurant operation. It doesn't mean they don't have to work as hard; they usually work harder. The advantage to having the support and encouragement of an established family business is that there is considerably less trial and error to finding a successful formula, not to mention the built in labor pool you have to draw from.
Mark Arcobasso, owner of Domenico's Italian Restaurant and Lounge in Jefferson City, fits the above scenario to a "T". With wife, Vicki, the Arcobasso family tradition is more than two decades old, and begins with Mark's father, Joe, and the first "Domenico's" in St. Louis, which was named after grandfather Domenico "Nick" Arcobasso. The Arcobasso dynasty, which includes Mark's three sisters and two brothers, along with founder Joe, has formed a Missouri mini-conglomerate made up of: (in order of year of establishment) Domenico's in Florissant (1978); Concetta's in St. Charles (1985); Domenico's at the Lake of the Ozarks (1988); and Jefferson City's own Domenico's, which Mark opened in 1991. The Arcobasso family success in the food business has been extended into the retail trade with production of their own recipe salad dressings, including their extremely popular house Creamy Italian. Arcobasso Foods, which manufactures and distributes the family salad dressings, was founded in 1987, in St. Louis. Along with contributing to the quality of dining at their restaurants, these bottled salad dressings are available in various supermarkets in St. Louis, Kansas City and parts of Indiana.
Domenico's menu selection, while leaning toward Italian family specialties, such as their pastas with freshly made sauces, is equally renowned for it's beef and veal. The Missouri Beef Industry Council named Domenico's the "best steak restaurant" in the Jefferson City area. Their aged USDA choice beef elevates Domenico's to steakhouse status. Beef aficionados can be equally satisfied with selections of filet mignon, New York strip or prime rib. Veal dishes are lightly breaded and sauteed in olive oil, and includes a universal favorite, Veal Parmigiano. Seafood and chicken are also well represented. Offerings on the lighter side include Domenico's Chicken Stir Fry and Blackened Yellow Fin Tuna. For heart healthy entrees, try the Orange Roughy, Charbroiled Chicken Breast or the Hallie Special – a linguine with vegetables and red wine tomato sauce. Domenico's specials, such as Chicken Diablo, give new meaning to the word "special". Charbroiled chicken breast with provel cheese, artichokes, fresh mushrooms and piquant cream sauce – while an unusual combination – is the perfect Italian-style comfort food.
You will forget any logical reason you may have had for dieting when dessert time comes around. Chocolate Seduction Cake, Spumoni Ice Cream or the signature cheesecake are desserts guaranteed to tempt you. As are the beverages made with ice cream such as Nutty Irishman (Bailey's Frangelico and ice cream). Domenico's has eleven other beverage/ice cream combinations on the menu...all intriguing. The Cheesecake, which is New York Style, (including varieties such as Amaretto and Turtle), is made at Fazio's in St. Louis.
In 1996, Mark Arcobasso was named Restaurateur of the Year, honoring him for his capability in creating and maintaining a restaurant with quality food, reasonable prices, and friendly service in an environment that speaks of Old World Charm. This is a dining atmosphere where the decor includes family portraits on the walls and an elegant antique credenza. These are key elements prerequisite to success in the competitive business which has served the Arcobasso family well over the years.