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Kathy Stephenson
Kathy Stephenson has been the food writer at The Tribune since 2000. A Utah native, Stephenson's first job was picking zucchini on her grandparent's Kaysville farm. Every Christmas, Stephenson's neighbors and colleagues look forward to getting a plate of her baklava. Last year, she gave away nearly 300 pieces.

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Cucina Toscana says hello to Veloce & goodbye to Valter Nassi

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Veloce, a new quick-serve Italian restaurant from the same owners of Salt Lake City's Cucina Toscana, is expected to open in a few weeks on the northwest corner of 300 South and 300 West in Salt Lake City. (The old Tony Caputo's spot)

Veloce, which means rapid or speed in Italian, is designed to show the "younger, faster, casual" side of Italy, said general manager Stephanie Bailey-Hatfield.

Chef Elio Scanu, from Zucca Trattoria in Ogden, will oversee the Veloce kitchen that will specialize in grilled / rotisserie meats as well as pizzas and Italian flatbreads from a wood-fired oven. Guests will be able to sit at a raised bar — something Bailey- Hatfield called "a half-circle of marbled beauty" — to taste imported mozzarella cheeses, carpacio and crudo, Italy's version of raw fish sashimi. The Veloce menu also will include house-made gelato, pastries and espresso.

Prices will range from $7-$20 for lunch and $15-$30 for dinner.

Owner Ken Millo, the Salt Lake City architect who owns Cucina Toscana, is planning to open two additional restaurants in the coming months: Veloce by Cucina Toscana in the Salt Lake City International Airport and Caterina, a French restaurant, in the old Sugarhouse Post Office at 2155 S. Highland Dr. Jean-Louis Montecot will be the chef.

Together, the four restaurants will form the Cucina Toscana Restaurant Group.

There is a downside to all the expansion. Valter Nassi — the personality and face behind Cucina Toscana — has decided to retire rather than take on more responsibility, Millo said.

Nassi, of course, can't stay away from the restaurant business. He already is planning to open a restaurant at 173 W. 300 South, where The Metropolitan was located.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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