About Us

About Us

The father / son Chef team of John Rosario & John Matthew Mannino (father and son, respectively) partnered with Daris Gavin to open “Olde World” Italian Bistros. The goal was – and is – to give patrons great Italian food at a reasonable price point with wine choices to match. The Mannino’s Italian Bistro Family works with great passion and attention to detail to try and ensure that our guests develop a sense of home and comfort while enjoying their dining experience.

John R Mannino, known as “Pops” by the staff, was born in the famed New York borough, Brooklyn. He was raised and taught to cook by his mother, who was born and reared in a small town just outside of Palermo, Italia. She taught him to prepare and cook in the style of the old country. Since learning these time honored culinary traditions. John R has spent time perfecting them while passing them along to his only son, John M, who still absorbs all the lessons Pops shares with him. John R spent time at many restaurants both locally (Nicholas’ at the Omni, La Bella Italia, Café Society {Executive Chef}, Bodega, and 4.5.6 Fish) and in New York (Lacey’s Restaurant in Manhattan and East of Athens in Long Island).

John M Mannino started his culinary career at Virginia Beach’s very own Big Sam’s at the Inlet. He also spent some time at La Bella Italia and the once-renowned Blue Hippo. John M then went to Velvet 25 to become the Sous Chef. It was there that John M and Daris Gavin met, developing a work relationship as well as a friendship that has culminated into their business partnerships. John M then decided to go to The Culinary Institute of America in New York. He graduated with honors, and gained valuable experience while cooking in New York City and Florida. He returned to become the Executive Chef of Bodega in Norfolk, and would eventually become the Executive Chef at 4.5.6 Fish at the same time.

Daris Gavin began bartending in 1988 in Portsmouth at the one time best kept secret in Tidewater, The Scale o’ d’Whale. He has been in the restaurant business ever since. He worked and trained with the one of Hampton Roads premiere Sommeliers, Marc Sauter, twice; once at La Galleria in the mid 1990’s and at the renowned Todd Jurich’s Bistro in 2004-2005. He also obtained his level one Sommelier certification at that time. He went on to become the General Manager of Fusion 440 in Portsmouth and of The Vintage Tavern in Suffolk, VA.

The trio opened the first Mannino’s Italian Bistro in 2008, and all three locations offer the same fresh, house-made recipes (from the mozzarella, pasta sauces, and award-winning crab soup, to the tiramisu and chocolate truffles) and an excellent customer service experience.

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