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You hear about scratch cooking, but it’s quite another thing to start a restaurant from scratch—hiring cooks, servers, and finding suppliers in a place you just moved to—but that’s what Anthony Andiario and Maria van Schaijik have done.
Last year, Anthony and Maria, partners in business and in life, left Arizona and moved themselves, their two dogs, and two olive trees to West Chester. They opened the restaurant Andiario in late March.
Anthony is an acclaimed chef, and Maria runs the front of the house. Both have roots on this coast—Maria’s family is in West Chester, and Anthony’s is in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region. What they’ve created is highly personal, with an imaginative menu filled with quality ingredients sourced from local purveyors and artisans.
“From the farmers we use to the food we cook to our artwork and table settings, everything is uniquely us,” says Anthony. The art on the walls is by Anthony’s brother, and plates and bowls come from local artisans, such as beloved potter Andrew Snyder. And the olive trees are theirs too.
Anthony is known for his pastas—he’s a bit of an Instagram star—but he’s adamant that this isn’t strictly his focus.
“We have such great growers and access to meat and seafood here,” he says. “I really want to just cook good, honest food.”
Already, the restaurant is drawing raves and attention. It’s been hard work, and there’s lots of pressure, but they’re doing this together. “We know each other so well,” says Anthony. “Maria knows exactly what I’m saying with just a look from the kitchen out to her in the restaurant. I know things are going to be great.”
“We want it to feel like you’re coming into our home for dinner,” says Maria. “It’s a wonderful but somewhat vulnerable place to be—everything here is what we choose to do.”