The family Tumino came to Syracuse over 40 years ago, bringing traditional Italian tastes and recipes with them. Salvatore and Cristina Tumino opened Tumino's Pizzeria at the North Salina Street location in 1987. Their sons Richard, Christian and John participated in the family business. Eventually, the younger generation went on to their own lives and the Tuminos sold the business in 1995. Unfortunately, the new owners were not successful and closed the pizzeria four years later.
In 2001, the city announced that the Little Italy project would commence the following year, brightening one of Syracuse's oldest neighborhoods. Wanting to be a part of the rebirth of the area, the brothers Tumino opened Asti Caffe in place of the pizzeria.
Asti began as a 30-seat trattoria. Its menu included homemade soups, salads, wraps and sandwiches, pasta and a sizable list of entrees. Chicken or veal specialties, created in the Francese, Parmigiana, Marsala, Marinara or Saltimbocca methods, are all made to order. Sauces -- marinara, traditional and vodka -- are made on the premises using the finest ingredients.
2005 saw a major expansion, with a new wing built on a lot adjoining the south side of the building, recreating the floorplan of a store that once stood on the lot in the early 20th century. It was the first new building on North Salina Street in decades and virtually the only new building on the North Side not built by St. Joseph's Hospital. With the new dining room, seating more than doubled on the first floor and a bar was added. A hardwood-fired grill was added to cook steak, chicken and seafood items. "Asti Caffe" gave way to a simpler name: Asti.
On Valentine's Day 2009, Asti expanded yet again with a second-floor dining and banquet space, the Upper Room. Featuring a plasma television and a working fireplace, the space is used every weekend and is also available for special events.
Eldest brother John left Asti in 2009 to answer his calling. He and his wife Leigh-Ann started In My Father's Kitchen to bring food and services to Syracuse's homeless population.
April 2010 saw a devastating fire in the kitchen exhaust. After six weeks of cleanup, repairs and upgrades, Asti returned better than ever. An all-new kitchen features a gas grill with a smoker box to give steaks and seafood the same, great smoky flavor customers have come to expect. The refurbished dining rooms have new carpeting, wallpaper and ceilings.
After more than a decade, Asti strives now and in the future to make customers happy and satisfied.