The Neighborhood Gem

This Rustic Italian Restaurant and Bar Offers a Family-Oriented Atmosphere for Everyone to Enjoy Together

Article by Roslyn Bond

Photography by Brandon Weber III

Originally published in Austin Lifestyle

If you're looking for neighbors, friends, food, wine, beer and cocktails, look no further! Baretto, 10710 Research Blvd. Suite 314 in the North Hills of Austin, serves handcrafted cocktails and Italian specialty dishes while providing a space for families and friends to enjoy an evening together. 

Owner Donnie Johnson understands the priority of family and friends in everyday life and has created a space for them to come together and enjoy delicious food in a relaxing, ambient setting. The Italian restaurant bar is a friendly, fun and cozy place to hang out. 

Donnie opened Baretto because he says he enjoys meeting new people, entertaining, cooking and throwing parties, which drew him into the restaurant and bar industry. He believes the service industry has given him the daily opportunity for a career doing what he enjoys: making people happy. He says the feeling is enticing when he is able to be a part of his guests’ special holiday, birthday or anniversary and make it a memorable experience. He thoroughly enjoys making new friends. 

Donnie has appreciated growing up in Austin and being a partner in an Austin iconic restaurant realm and the opportunity to present a new concept of a restaurant and bar into the community.   

“I love being part of the old-school Austin vibe and the exploding culinary scene this city has to offer. It’s the best of both worlds,” he says.

He has spent 24 years in business management and has worked his way up through the restaurants from a busboy from the time he was a freshman in college.

By the time he was a senior at the University of Texas, he decided he wanted to become a general manager as soon as possible. Four years after that, he opened Eddie V's Arboretum and fulfilled that goal.  

After a couple of moves and five years in wine sales, Donnie found an opportunity to return to the restaurant business as an owner and partnered with Stan Adams, who has owned the Brick Ovens since 1984 as well as Siena.   

Baretto’s chef makes simple shared plates, small appetizers, artisan cheese and meats. They also have a great partnership with the Brick Oven so they can serve their menu too—brick oven handmade pizza, pasta and salads.

Baretto weekly specials include half-off bottles of wine Sunday and Monday, and Happy hour is from 4–7 p.m. daily, which includes $5 wine features, $5 well drinks, $1 off Baretto craft cocktails, $1 off pints of draft beers and $2 off kitchen items.

Popular menu items include the Combo Board—Cheese & Charcuterie. The cheese is Antonelli’s 1655 Gruyere, white sharp cheddar and Brie de Nagis with nuts, fruit, Walker Texas honeycomb and bread. The charcuterie includes Antonelli’s, Saucisson Rouge salami, Gin & Juice salami and Copa with olives, pickles, peppers and bread. 

Both Brick Oven and Baretto team up with different schools and fundraisers to make donations toward the schools that are close by and have relationships with the parents and faculty.

"We are in a perfect spot for our neighborhood friends to have a downtown experience up the street and close to home," Donnie says.



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