Like many people who find themselves growing roots in Portland, Simone Savaiano was initially drawn to the great outdoors. And similar to the trails he follows up to lofty mountain peaks—he recently summited Denali on a self-guided climb—his path to becoming the head chef and owner of Mucca Osteria was a winding one.
For nearly 10 years, his fine-dining Italian cuisine has put Savaiano in the truly rarefied air of serving some of the best food the city has to offer. A native of Rome who also spent time in Tuscany, he pulls on influences from all parts of his mother country, while incorporating the best seasonal bounty the Pacific Northwest has to offer. “It’s a little bit like playing music, when you know the notes and you use them to compose songs,” he says. “It’s the same for food. You choose what you feel like is the right ingredient to use at the moment.”
Mucca Osteria certainly has a loyal following; during the unrest and lockdowns that have shaken Downtown over the previous months, patrons have done their part to keep the eatery afloat, ordering takeout from an exquisite menu of classics and rotating specials. When it can host guests inside, the intimate space comes alive with romance, authentic handmade pasta, and an award-winning wine list.
Everything from the bread to the dessert is made from scratch, with passion and a desire to please his customers. Says Savaiano, “People keep coming. As soon as they know we’re reopening, people will come back. That’s the best, because it means that people love us and we’re doing the right thing.”
1022 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205