There aren't too many genuine, family-owned and run businesses these days, but here is one that has been around for over two decades.
Manager Randy Mickevicius (formerly of the Beaches Spiggia) is proud of his family's accomplishments.
His uncle Allan and his wife, with their son John and nephew Randy run the business now, but "it was originally purchased by Allan's brother in the eighties. He sold it to Allan in 1988," Randy says.
Allan ran it under the name Trattoria Il Timone, but at
the end of February 2007, renovated it and relaunched it as Beccofino Italian Ristorante.
Allan tells me that "it was an evolution." And it seems like a lot of changes were made: Paintings inside curved niches along the stucco walls convey happiness, with scenes of dancing people and parties. Both the glass vestibule, which was created at the front, and many windows allow in sunshine and warm air during the spring and summer months.
Allan says that "the building is 50 years old, maybe 60," but he calls it a magic location in Oakville in that "you come down Trafalgar and turn the corner and we're on the right hand of the street." Having an engineering background, he explains all of the upsides of being on this side of the street, which I had never thought about.
Randy tells me that "the restaurant was so busy for so many years that we couldn't fix it up." But they "gutted it right down to the bones," though they've kept the same look with the upper level, and the long area in front. The kitchen was refurnished with all new equipment, new wine racks were put in and the bathrooms were also redone. Randy says "The bar area was also rebuilt and restyled," along with the private dining room in the back, suitable for parties up to 20 people.
It is a quaint little spot that is open for both lunch and dinner, though you'll get the real romance of the space if you come for dinner. A lacquered black ceiling squints with tiny white lights as if you're dining beneath the stars. The stark black and white look is kept cozy thanks to the intimate seating and the open, bright white kitchen, where you can watch Executive Chef Martin Khan, who has been with the restaurant many years, work his magic.
There is a definite business crowd during lunch, but at dinner, it's all about tucking into Italian and Continental cuisine in a fine dining and romantic atmosphere. There are a lot of grilled meats and seafood, and according to Randy, "The fish is absolutely amazing here." There are also many types of fresh pasta to choose from like homemade gnocchi.
And that's one of the things you'll notice about the menu - lots of fresh, simple ingredients that result in nutritious and healthy fare.
For instance, the grilled calamari (11.95), is marinated in sesame oil, served on baby greens with green onion aioli, and the steamed mussels ($9.95) are done simply in a lemon butter and white wine sauce. They are both simple, yet incredibly tasty. The green aioli is lick-it-off-your-fork good.
The seafood fest continues in the main course with fresh grilled sea scallops and black tiger shrimp ($27.95) with a sweet mango and coconut curry sauce, served with risotto and market vegetables.
Four plump shrimp and three glistening scallops go beautifully with the nutty crunch of the arborio and wild rice risotto. The sauce is thick and silky and just slightly sweet, and the crisp vegetables (yellow, red and green pepper, zucchini, red onions and asparagus) add great colour and contrast to the dish.
The star of the evening, though, is the rack of Australian lamb ($34.95) with a mustard herb crust, port demi-glaze, mashed potato, and market vegetables. The lamb is done to perfection - medium rare - and its bright pink hue is enriched by the delicate, yet hearty, port jus.
Wine is reasonably priced here and they have a fairly diverse list. The desserts such as crÃ¨me brulee and tiramisu are all made in-house (the gelatos are brought in), and they are mostly Allan's recipes.
Who could ask for anything more?