"Well, what am I going to do for recipes?" the younger Bonadio asked. His father replied: "Well, I'll help you out."
"So, I changed the name of the restaurant to Papa Dio's, in honor of my father, because he was going to give me my recipes and we were going to be partners. I bought him out in 1981, and took over from there," Bonadio says.
The restaurant has moved a couple of times since, and even had a second location in Edmond, for a while. It has been at 10712 N May, in the back corner of a strip mall, since 1988.
Bonadio teamed up with Bill Mathis in 1999 to add a wine bar to the restaurant — a feature the chef likes.
These dinners give him an opportunity to prepare gourmet dishes paired with specific wines during private dinners the operation throws for winemakers so they can show off and sell their products.
Wine, he explains, can't be fully appreciated unless it is introduced with another flavor in your mouth, so he uses specific foods to bring out wines' characters.
Papa Dio's Italian Restaurant offers more than 160 specific menu items, including dishes from northern and southern Italy and Sicily.
"So, no matter where you are used to having Italian food, I usually have something very, very similar, if not exactly what you are looking for," he says.
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4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday
4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday
4:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Closed on Sunday