da LaPosta Chef and Owner, Mario’s values are built upon hard work and passion and are embedded in his love for hospitality. He was born a pizza maker — it is his life’s passion. Mario has been making pizza since he was 15 years old with over 20 years of professional experience in some of the Northeast’s best restaurants. Such as Bricco in West Hartford, CT. Tarry Lodge, locations in NY and CT and Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca in Boston, Mario also lived and work in Rome and Campania. He also holds a B.A. in Hospitality from Central CT State University.
From 2008–2019, as head Pizzaiolo and Executive Chef for B&B Hospitality group, Mario has been on the opening team at three restaurants, overseeing build out, project managing, assembling staff, and implementing policies and procedures to ensure he restaurants success. Mario has built culinary and pizza programs at four restaurants, serving as Executive Chef at two. During his time as Executive Chef at Tarry Lodge in Westport, CT the restaurant received the Snail of Approval by Slow Food USA. A designation given to restaurants that contribute to the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of local food and have a commitment to their community and the environment.
At Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, NY, GQ and Alan Richman named his Pizza 11th best pizzeria in the country; he has placed as high as 10th overall in the World Pizza Championships. Mario honed his pizza and culinary skills while living in Italy, working in Neapolitan Pizzeria’s in Rome and in Campania. Mario spent several years with B&B, one of the world’s premier hospitality groups, managing daily operations at restaurants where he served as Chef. In 2016, Mario developed his own proprietary blend of organic, whole-wheat pizza flour, Farina da LaPosta. It is grown in Utah and Washington State by Central Milling, producing the highest quality grains since 1867.
da LaPosta General Manager James Shimko is a newcomer to Boston. The Pittsburgh native arrived in late 2019, accompanying his girlfriend who moved here for a new job. The couple’s culinarily named cats—Noodles and Roast Beast—came along for the ride.
Shimko has worked in the restaurant business since he was a teenager. “I grew up in the hospitality industry, so I feel very connected to all the working parts,” he says. “I am super interested in the ever-evolving industry and how to stay relevant while also remaining authentic.
Shimko was drawn to da LaPosta because of Owner and Chef Mario LaPosta’s commitment to serving autentica cucina Italiana—the kind of ingredient-centric, less-is-more cuisine you’d find in restaurants in Italy. “I am inspired by Chef Mario’s passion for cooking and his love for pizza,” he says. “We want to serve authentic food—high quality dishes and drinks that stay true to classic Italian roots—to friends and families (looking to) come together for a good time.”
“Of course, you want excellent service, excellent food, superb ambiance and a team who is passionate and motivated about the same things you are,” he continues. “I also believe that authenticity and transparency about what you’re serving, and how you’re serving it has a huge importance.”
When he’s not working, James checks out the Boston restaurant scene and travels (he just returned from a trip to Iceland, Finland, and Estonia). An avowed Pittsburgh Stealers fan, Shimko is about to be baptized into the uniquely Boston culture of rabid sports fandom.