A native of Napoli in Southern Italy, Chef Francesco Martini’s interest in culinary arts was formed at a very early age. Inspired by the colors and flavors of the numerous local markets and farms, he began his culinary training in a variety of fine dining venues in the Neapolitan area, including Zi Teresa and La Cantinella.
Martini’s path took a bit of a detour as he completed law school in Italy, but soon after graduation he decided to follow his culinary dream and moved to Barcelona, Spain, which was emerging ad a mecca for the culinary arts. While in Barcelona, Martini worked as an intern for two chefs, Santi Santamaria from Can Faves and Chef Fermin Puig at the Majestic Hotel. He also studied at a Catalan school for chefs and orchestrated the opening of an Italian school for pizza makers.
Martini and his wife Marianna then opened a restaurant of their own, Il Colosseo, with a menu of Italian cuisine and gourmet pizzeria. In 2005 they sold the restaurant and moved to the United States, where Martini enrolled in the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and joined the team at Mare in the North End as Sous Chef.
Having been at Mare since its inception, Martini was named the Executive Chef in September of 2008. He drew crowds and rave reviews with the seafood-laden, all-natural menu.
In December of 2009, Martini and his wife opened Buona Vita in Arlington. Designed to recreate an authentic European bistro like you might find down one of the narrow streets of Barcelona, Paris or Rome, the intimate Italian restaurant emphasizes high quality and low prices with a menu that’s full of simple, traditional and tasty dishes.