With locations in Lexington and Irmo, Alodia's Cucina Italiana is a restaurant business with true roots in an Italian family. Since 2008, proprietor Adam Huneau's restaurants have been wowing taste buds of all ages with authentic Italian cuisine stemming from recipes pulled from the pages of his family's cookbook.
Named after Adam's great-grandmother, Alodia's fare and ambiance smells, tastes and feels of Old Italy. Fresh sauces and handmade pastas are the foundation of the menu that continues to bring generations together.
Adam says it was the love of food and family that allowed Alodia to cook for her nine children, even through the struggles of the Great Depression and World War II.
"It was her food that strengthened her children, but it was her love that strengthened her family," he adds.
Adam and his wife, Betsy, indicate they're delighted to continue the family's tradition of providing fresh Italian food that dazzles taste buds and warms souls.
Opening the restaurants was always one of Adam's dreams.
"I believe we've created an environment that lends itself to people spending genuine times together over meals—getting chances to catch up with each other, visit and celebrate. I see a community as I look around the restaurants," Adam says.
He truly enjoys witnessing people escaping from daily grinds of life, as well as watching folks progress through life. One of his customers first came to Alodia's when he was 12 years old, and Adam has seen him grow up through the years. The young man has now recently gotten married.
"We get to celebrate milestones with guests, as well as deal with life's disappointments," he adds.
Adam says a key aspect of experiences at their restaurants radiates from a team of hard workers with great attitudes and good outlooks on life.
"We have a work culture in which it cultivates more than a job. Our team really cares, they step up, and that's how we know our guests will be taken care of."
Alodia's far-ranging menu consists of appetizers, such as calamari fritti, fried green tomatoes and mini crab cakes. Their soup is a creamy roasted red pepper and gouda, topped with house-made croutons and a dollop of mascarpone cheese. Some of their salads are Sicilian chopped, caprese or caesar.
Ryan Clark, Alodia's chief operations officer, says while their signature bowtie gratinata with sautéed shrimp in a unique cream sauce remains a popular leader among diners, new menu items for the fall also are going over well. Their slow-roasted pork ragu is made with a special blend of red wine secured from Tuscany, Italy. They also have an Allegrini wine-enhanced steak alfredo served over an asiago alfredo sauce and topped with bruschetta. Their specialty dishes incorporate mushrooms, duck, chicken and seafood.
Of course, Alodia's classic Italian offerings include lasagna, manicotti, ziti, spaghetti and eggplant parmesan. They have a whole other section of entrees that include salmon, veal, Ahi tuna, chicken and ribeye. Because guests have been asking for their blackened Mahi over fettuccine noodles, Ryan says they brought it back to the menu. A variety of sides complete different flavor profiles.
A kid's menu of buttered noodles, spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo and cheese ravioli also is popular.
Desserts on Alodia's menu, of course, include cannoli, tiramisu and creme brulee. But they always offer an Italian Bomba, which is a vanilla and chocolate gelato prepared in a hard dark chocolate shell with a cherry almond center, as well as an Italian gelato flavored with Limoncello liqueur.
In more of a hurry sometimes? Ryan says customers can call Alodia's regarding their "Family of Four Dinners To-Go" for $35—within 30 minutes, the meal is ready for pick up. He says it consists of a pasta, salad and garlic bread.
Ryan says the restaurants also offer catering options in box lunches, party trays, packages or customized pairings. He reminds that Wine Wednesdays and Martini Tuesdays are fun times at the restaurant, too.
"We have a loyalty program for frequent guests, and we're a great place to stop in with friends, family or date nights. Check out our Lexington location before or after the upcoming fall concerts at the Icehouse Amphitheater for a quick bite or signature cocktail."