The Rolling Stones may have said it best for Jennifer and Larry Schwartz when they were opening their new restaurant in Hailey 20 years ago, “You can’t always get what you want. . . you get what you need.” “At the time, we were convinced the name for our new Italian restaurant should be Spaghetti Western in homage to the area’s connection to movies, cowboys, and the wild west,” Jennifer recalls. “There were reasons beyond our control that kept us from using that name and now we’re very glad they did.”
July marks the 20th Anniversary for daVinci’s Restaurant in Hailey. “Larry and I met when we both attended Cornell University’s School of Hospitality Administration,” Jennifer adds. “When we moved to the area in 1992 we knew we wanted to open an Italian-style restaurant like the ones we had grown up with back east. The little restaurant on the corner that always has consistently great Italian food in a comfortable atmosphere is the model we had in mind when we created daVinci’s. After 20 years in business, I think we can safely say we’ve succeeded.”
When asked why she thinks they’ve managed to stay successful long enough to be one of the oldest, single-owner restaurants in the valley, Jennifer says confidently, “consistency. We have long-term customers that come to daVinci’s because they know they will have the same great chicken parmigiana every time they’re here.” And what are some of the dishes they’re most known for? “We have many people that come back every time for our Rotolo, a rolled pasta with filling that’s sliced and baked and served in a pink tomato sauce,” Jennifer notes. “Also, everything on our menu is available for group take-out food. Lasagnas, salads, sauces, chicken, veal or eggplant parmigiana can all be ordered to go for small or large groups. We also have one of the best outdoor dining spots in town. With our beautiful summers, it is a wonderful place to wind down after enjoying the day.”
Jennifer is quick to note that another big part of daVinci’s success has been the fact they’ve been blessed with consistent staffing. “I know it sounds a bit cliché, but the old adage is true,” Jennifer adds. “You can have the best location, facility, and product, but if your staff doesn’t give a top quality experience to your customers, you’ll never survive. We’re very fortunate to have the amazing staff we do, especially the long term staff of Doug, Charles, Andrew, and Dave. They’ve all been with us for at least 10 years with Doug and Charles at 19 and 18 years respectively.”
To celebrate their 20th Anniversary, daVinci’s will offer specials and weekly give-aways of gift certificates and other items now through the end of the year. daVinci’s is open Wednesday thru Sunday at 5:00 pm. Reservations are encouraged (208) 788-7699.