Good Morning Tucson is tasting more of the community and saying cheers to a Foothills restaurant that’s served Italian lunches and dinners for 20 years.

The morning team is sharing the first part of our visit to Tavolino Ristorante Italiano on Campbell and Skyline. Owner Massimo Tenino tells us how his family’s still a part of the meals on the menu.

Tuesday morning, it was quiet inside the restaurant. We’re here hours before the rush. Even when it gets hectic in the kitchen, Tenino, a native of Sanremo in Italy, finds his center in the family portraits he’s hung on the walls of the dining room.

One snapshot shows his young son following in his culinary footsteps. It was taken 20 years ago, he said; around the time he opened his venture in southern Arizona.

Elsewhere in the room, there’s a portrait of his family. Tenino pointed to the pictured and specifically observed the young face of his older brother, Paolo.

In his own way, Tenino said, his brother followed a passion for good food, or in this case, good wine. While Massimo takes care of filling orders and checking the quality of his dishes in Tucson, Paolo owns and runs the Azienda Agricola Pietro Rinaldi winery and vineyard in Italy.

“Italian food, like you said, goes with good Italian wine,” Tenino said to GMT. “I’m lucky enough that my brother makes this amazing wine back in Italy.”

Tenino said that, while he doesn’t drink a glass of wine every day, he’s found one bottle and vintage his brother makes that he likes in particular. “The Barbera, this one right here: It’s really good wine. It’s nice and rich, beautiful color…that would be an everyday wine.”

What would pair well with the wine in Tavolino’s shelves? Tenino and his kitchen staff prepared two of their more popular dishes. First, Tenino served the lasagna al forno, which he said has been on the menu since the first day he opened his restaurant.

“We make fresh pasta, really thin. Eggs, flour, then through the pasta machine and we make bechamel,” he said. “We make it the way my grandma and my mom used to make bechamel (a white sauce). We layer the meat ragu and the bechamel and the cheese.”

For a dish with more subtle, earthier flavors, Tenino said guests are often pleasantly surprised by his ravioli al caprino.

“What stands out… (we were not) expecting the color of the dough,” Good Morning Tucson told Tenino.

“We take the beets. We actually roast them in a wood-fire oven so they don’t absorb water,” Tenino said. “Then, we put (it) in the blender. We make a nice beet puree and then we mix it with the fresh pasta.”

For Tenino, the final combination works well together: mascarpone and goat cheeses stuffed in the ravioli, along with the sweetness of the beets and tossed in brown butter, sage and tomato sauce.