Tori Arzt didn’t grow up with plans to become a chef. Instead, she went to art school, spent the first part of her career in visual merchandising, and even sold Vespa’s for a while in New York City. These days, though, Arzt is making pasta by hand as the head chef of Glorietta, and despite having only been there a year, she has put the eatery on the local culinary map as the date night favorite with authentic Italian fare.
Arzt has always surrounded herself with good food, even before it became a viable career path: she grew up rolling matzah balls and baking challah bread in her grandmother’s kitchen, where traditional cooking methods captured her imagination. During college, she studied abroad in Italy, where she was introduced to the concept of rationality in cuisine and marveled at tiny villages’ use of fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Her menu at Glorietta expertly embraces both of these concepts. Her handmade mushroom, Gorgonzola and walnut fettuccine is inspired by her travels through Northern Italy and uses traditional methods to make the sauce: half of the mushroom stems used as a garnish are cooked in the cream for aromatics, and the other half are used to make a stock, increasing the flavor throughout the entire dish. Arzt substitutes unique local ingredients, like elk in her Bolognese, when it makes sense to veer from the traditional. Her menu changes with the seasons to feature local produce.
Arzt consistently produces fresh, elevated comfort food that pays attention to detail without being fussy. Her dishes reflect her deep appreciation for tradition. Her pasta– handmade, of course– will transport you to a little plaza eatery in Florence, where meals are both crafted and enjoyed slowly, deliberately.